By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – We didn’t just pass a law allowing casino gambling back in 2011.

Like peacocks who can’t pass you on the farm without displaying their plumage, we made a statement about the high moral ground we hold, about how much smarter and ethical we are than the lower 49 states, and asserted our undeniable political superiority.

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That’s our distinctive Massachusetts attitude, or Mattitude for short. And sometimes, when we protect our natural assets while other states do not or lead the way on gay marriage, Mattitude pays off.

But other times, it doesn’t.

And the current fiasco surrounding the Everett casino is Exhibit A.

With Boston filing the third lawsuit in the last three months against the state gaming commission for alleged violations of process in awarding the license to the Wynn project in Everett, it’s worth taking a look back at the founding principles of the commission as laid out on its website.

They include: “a transparent and competitive bidding process, maximum long-term value to the Commonwealth, protection for host and surrounding communities, mitigation for social impacts and costs and ensuring the nation’s best and most rigorous public safety, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms.”

You can make a pretty good case that the fine, well-meaning members of the commission have failed to fulfill any of the mandates of this over-written law.

The lawsuits allege violations of the Open Meeting Law; the whole host vs. surrounding communities business hasn’t left anyone feeling protected; and their licensee scrutiny has proven deeply flawed.

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And to top it off, it looks more and more like we completely missed the salad days of the casino gambling boom.

Peacocks can be very flashy.

But take away their fancy feathers, and they’re really just a bunch of turkeys.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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


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Jon Keller