Keller @ Large: State Sen. Baddour Talks Beacon Hill Politics

BOSTON (CBS) – Lawmakers on Beacon Hill have been busy debating everything from the casino bill to immigration reform.

WBZ’s Jon Keller recently sat down with State Sen. Steven Baddour (D-Methuen) to discuss the issues.

Lawmakers were debating an amendment to the casino bill last week that would require legislators a certain number of years before seeking employment with the new gambling facilities that are coming to Massachusetts.

Then, Sen. President Terese Murray called off the debate. What happened next?

Part 1:

“The debate was getting heated, and at one point, there was a lot of animosity, and it was getting to a point where it wasn’t the collegial branch,” said State Sen. Baddour. “She banged that gavel to bring people back into the caucus, to calm people down, to remember that we’re here to have a debate. It’s not about personality, it’s about sort of moving an issue forward. In the end, we compromised, and we came up with a ban that’s across the board in all agencies for one year consistently throughout the law.”

Why not five years, as originally discussed?

“Because the law right now in every other area of politics and government is a one-year ban. We spend a lot of money in health care, bio, there’s a one-year ban in those areas. Why make casinos any different?” said State Sen. Baddour.

Will this combat the image of political corruption on Beacon Hill?

Part 2:

“We do have to address the issue of the corruption that’s happened in the last three or four years, but at the same time, we just can’t paint a broad brush, and somehow sort of convict everyone who runs for political office. There are good people that care about the Commonwealth and care about the district that they represent. They’re not gonna be there for life. There needs to be opportunities when you leave the legislature, and it shouldn’t be sort of a closed door,” said State. Sen. Baddour.

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.

  • Middleboro Remembers


    You let the Senator off without explaining why the 5 year exclusion
    was so opposed unless there are back room promises.

    There is absolutely every reason to treat the Gambling Industry differently.

    Other states have experienced legislators leaving office mid-term
    to take high paying jobs with the Gambling Industry after passing
    gambling legislation.

    You also failed to ask the Senator why money laundering isn’t addressed
    in the current proposed legislation – along with numerous other glaring

    Beacon Hill is surrounded by scandals and indictments, yet they’re
    focusing on back room deals, secret meetings and Expanded Gambling
    that has brought such widespread corruption elsewhere?

    Massachusetts: 4 in 10 think corruption is widespread in Legislature

    When Republicans proposed to require Lobbyists to wear badges, Democrats
    went into apoplexy and the best they could do was lash out and raise images
    of Nazism.

    Senator Stan Rosenberg: “What lobbyists and interest groups buy is access’’

    It would seem Beacon Hill needs to remove their earplugs regarding public
    screams of cynicism and get their priorities in order.

    They might just want to read this:

    I’m just saying, Jon….

  • .

    “There needs to be opportunities when you leave the legislature.” So, lets turn casino gambling into a cottage industry for legislators when they leave office.
    Who could have seen this one coming?

  • Margaret Miley

    I’m impressed with the courage of Senator Eldridge, who proposed the 5-year ex-politician job ban. The Clean Elections candidate is still working for an accountable public sector.

    Anyone who studies the gambling issue sees that the business model for these resort casinos rests on gambling addiction, which climbs when casinos arrive in communities. Casinos are NOT job creators, and the fall-out is borne by families, communities, and the state.

  • tsal

    Jon – did you take a vacation I didn’t read about? It’s the first time I remember not seeing a new post in this long a period? If you are on vacation, I hope it’s fun. If not, I hope all is well.

    • Jon Keller

      Thanks for asking, I am taking a break this week, will return after Columbus Day rested and ready!

  • mikey

    This is just another case of the public sector feathering its own nest, paid for by people losing their shirts – sickening.

    • Tsal

      Yes it is. Hi Mikey!

      • Tsal

        I have emailed AND called everyone I can. I like your information. Thank you

        Mikey hahahahahaha

      • mikey

        Hi Tsal! Yeah, where is Mr. Keller? Perhaps he’s being interviewed in New York to replace Andy Rooney. Now I’ve done it. Gotta go!

      • Middleboro Remembers

        Even more egregious is sticking Massachusetts taxpayers with a $500 million bill to make Suffolk Downs doable.

        After receiving ‘charitable contributions,’ the minds of Senator Petrucelli and Mayor Tom Mennino suddenly changed?

        The email addresses of your State Rep. and State Senator are on
        One would hope you are expressing your outrage to them as well.

      • Middleboro Remembers

        What are you doing to change this? Have you expressed your outrage to your elected officals? Do you have any other suggestions?

  • Middleboro Remembers

    Senator Baddour has done nothing to assuage the well deserved public cynicism that surrounds Beacon Hill.

    From: Can’t ignore gambling industry’s revolving door
    Hampshire Gazette

    Gambling Industry’s Revolving Doors

    Massachusetts state senators denounced a proposed casino bill amendment that would have required lawmakers to wait five years after leaving office before taking a gambling industry job. “We are contributing to cynicism in government,” Senate President Stanley Rosenberg complained. But there’s more than enough evidence that it’s not just cynicism but reality that required that ban. Throughout the country, former politicians who supported state-sponsored casinos have personally profited from their actions.

    Here are just a few examples: In Illinois, former governor Jim Thompson, former Senate President Philip Rock, former House Majority Leader James McPike, who had all been instrumental in pushing a casino bill through the legislature, became lobbyists for casinos after leaving office. Shortly after Stephen Perskie, a former state senator who drafted the law that legalized the Atlantic City casinos, left his post as Chairman of New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission, he become a vice-president of Players International casinos.

    If our Senate is so intent on ignoring the danger of this revolving door with the gambling industry, I am willing to give any of its members 2 to 1 odds on a $100 bet that within less than two years after passage of a casino bill, former Massachusetts lawmakers will be working for the industry.

    Robert Goodman is the author of The Luck Business and was Director of the United States Gambling Study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (funded by the Ford Foundation and the Aspen Institute), and the former Director of the United States Gambling Research Institute (funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation). He is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Design at Hampshire College.

    Robert Goodman
    Professor of Environmental Design
    Hampshire College
    Amherst, MA 01002

  • Middleboro Remembers


    Former Agawam Rep. Michael P. Walsh said recently that the Commonwealth may have missed the shuttle bus on casinos.

    “It may have been our opportunity to jump in four or five years ago, and that opportunity may have passed,” Walsh said on WGBY’s “Connecting Point.”

    Walsh left the state Legislature in 1995 after 12 years in the House to lobby for casinos on behalf of the Wampanoag Indian Tribe.

    This highlights the “revolving door” policy so common elsewhere of legislators and those in important positions in state government becoming lobbyists.

    “..plans for that $600-million casino have shrunken over the past four years from 3,000 slot machines proposed four years ago to 2,500 slot machines in the plans today and from a 4,000- to 5,000-seat theater to a 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot multi-use ballroom, said Paul I. Brody, vice president of Mohegan Gaming Advisors. [What is currently being proposed in Palmer, MA is a SLOT BARN.]

    “This isn’t a build-it-and-they-will-come business model anymore,” Brody said during a meeting Wednesday with The Republican’s editorial board. “It is a very tightly-margined business, and you have to watch how much you spend.” ”

    1500 square feet is not even 40 feet by 40 feet.

    At the same time:
    Moody’s Lowers Mohegan To Highly Speculative

    Moody’s Investors Service moved the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to highly speculative territory, saying the operator of casinos could find it difficult to refinance significant debt maturities without some impairment to bondholders.

    • mikey

      In a lethargic economy such as this casinos appear to be a long shot at best. I enjoy reading your informative comments, keep it comin’!

      • Tsal

        Hi Mikey. Agreed.

        Another Friday night. Fire inside this time though. Hope you have a great weekend. I’m starting to worry about John :(

  • Tsal

    Oops meant Jon

    • mikey

      Yo Tsal! We fired up our woodstove tonight, feels great! Hope you have a great weekend as well! I’m sure Mr. Keller is just fine, but it sure has been quiet around here lately. Take care.

      • Tsal

        Skol :)

      • Middleboro Remembers

        What do you guys mean?
        The sun was shining today. You shouldn’t need to crank up the woodstoves.
        Sounds like you guys are a little skimpy on insulation and weatherproofing.

    • mikey

      I don’t know about Tsal but I’m getting up there in age, a fire in the woodstove, at night, feels great this time of year. Oh well, at least I’m still here.

      • Middleboro Review

        Thanks for the explanation because I don’t know anyone else who produces carbon, especially in the heat of summer.

        Cool evenings?
        Maybe we shouldn’t have added insulation and those low e, triple glazed Paradigm windows.

        Did you see all the articles about Senator Petrucelli?

        Does this pass the smell test?

        Have you checked out the USS Mass facebook site?

        “Casino’s = Corporate Greed A pure, unadulterated transfer of wealth without any pretense of benefit to the consumer. — with Tom Larkin and Occupy Boston.’

        How true is that?

      • tsal

        hahahaha middleboro – you got all of that from a fire and a woodstove? I love fires and have them all summer long outside. We don’t turn the heat on in our house until November 1 at the earliest and it goes off in April at the latest. I love the feel of a fire or woodstove on the cool nights – even before I got up there in years!

  • Frank Shvuntz

    Jon, admitt you are a right wing tool.

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