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Keller @ Large: Will Lawmakers Listen To Us Before Casino Bill Vote?

By Jon Keller, WBZ
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File Image (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

File Image (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – It was an emotional weekend commemorating 9/11 and reliving the experience.

It prompted a lot of people on the air and online to raise and discuss some interesting questions, including: who are we as a people? What do we really stand for, and aspire to?

As the president pointed out in his speech to Congress the other night, those questions are at the heart of the policy decisions our government makes, and the values our politicians bring to bear on those decisions. So part of the answer to who we are has to be: we are what our representatives are, and what they do.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

With that in mind, the coming week and the weeks ahead will be very informative of who we are here in Massachusetts.

Coming up on Wednesday is the start of House debate on the casino bill hammered out by the governor, House Speaker, and Senate President, and the issue will be a real Rorschach test for the reps and senators. Do you look at the short-term windfall from bringing in casinos and see an obvious answer to the state’s money woes, or do you see a short-term score that could wind up costing more than it’s worth in lost lottery money, lost business, and lost souls?

Or, a third option, are you a mindless sheep who will do whatever your leadership tells you, even they’re telling you to jump off a cliff?

Speaking of which, I noticed Judge Wolf, when he sentenced former Speaker Sal DiMasi last week, was outraged at some legislators for downplaying DiMasi’s crimes in letters to the court. He called it: “an attitude that if somebody supports causes that you care about, some corruption is to be expected.”

Judge Wolf called that “pernicious,” and I agree. But what about Beacon Hill? Will they place ethics and the public’s real needs above expedience and loyalty to leadership when they vote on the casino bill?

Maybe this weekend got them all thinking hard about it.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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