Spotlight on DeLeo
When last we looked, casino gambling's future in Massachusetts was being decided by three people behind closed doors. Many observers, myself included, shrugged their shoulders and said why not, we know the issues and would rather see it hashed out quietly than suck the oxygen out of the system -- again.
While we do know the issues inside and out, we also know that House Speaker Robert DeLeo held out last year for what amounted to three no-bid racinos. We also know that he's the son of a long-time Suffolk Down employee and can claim that track and the now-shuttered Wonderland as part of is district.
And in the post-Sal DiMasi world of the House, we know there is room for shenanigans when things, now matter how seemingly innocuous, are allowed to play out behind closed doors. Notes former attorney general Scott Harshbarger, the target of previous Speaker Tom Finneran's "loony left" opprobrium:
“The public’s entitled to more, particularly now. If the only way you can do this is getting a deal behind closed doors, it strikes me as tone deaf.’’
While Patrick now holds a stronger hand -- and has already successfully called DeLeo's bluff once -- it would be good politics for him to bring the talks out into the fresh air.