Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Revere Mayoral Race

"Developer turns to Revere mayoral challenger" by Andrea Estes Globe Staff  October 03, 2015

Charles Lightbody may be a convicted felon whose involvement in the Everett casino project led to a criminal investigation, but he and his family still have clout in Revere politics.

And Lightbody has turned on his old friend, Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo, who is locked in a tightly contested reelection campaign against city councillor Brian Arrigo.

Lightbody and his relatives gave Rizzo more than $2,000 when he first became mayor. But that was before Rizzo called Lightbody an "unsuitable” person to be involved in a casino and actively fought Steve Wynn’s casino on land where Lightbody had been an early investor.

Lightbody, a developer and auto body shop owner, said he wasn’t offended by anything Rizzo said or did. He said he just believes Arrigo will do a better job.

“That’s just politics,” said Lightbody, who had given Rizzo at least $2,700 in donations since 2000. “Dan and I were good friends. Obviously we had our differences. I have no problem with him. But what with our water and taxes going up, the city is going in the wrong direction. I just think Brian can do better.”

Lightbody, currently under indictment for allegedly concealing his ownership interest in the Everett casino land, didn’t personally give to Arrigo, but two brothers, two daughters, a girlfriend and multiple associates did. Their donations represent more than 15 percent of the $26,985 Arrigo raised between January and mid-August.

Rizzo, who is running for a second four-year term, lashed out at Arrigo for taking the Lightbody donations, calling it “stunning” that his opponent is taking money “from people connected to the Wynn Everett project. That is not in the best interests of Revere residents . . . ”

Rizzo promised to stop accepting money from Lightbody or anyone else associated with the $1.7 billion Wynn project in 2014 after the Globe reported that Lightbody had been a longtime financial backer. Rizzo supported the casino proposed for Suffolk Downs that lost out to Wynn’s plan....


Related: Folding After the Flop

State gives Everett the power to seize parcels near casino site

The power to seize by eminent domain as many as nine parcels.

"City of Boston files new lawsuit to block Wynn casino" by Sean P. Murphy and Jon Chesto Globe Staff  September 30, 2015

The new lawsuit shatters any notion of a compromise between Mayor Martin J. Walsh and billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn, who had traded insults and accusations for months over the proposed gambling resort on the Mystic River waterfront but have recently appeared to be finding common ground.

The filing on Monday came less than a week after Boston appeared to suffer a setback in its other suit against the casino....


Then the cards were dealt, the ante was put up, the bets made, and hands called -- and the Wynnah with the better hand decided to seek peace and split the pot.

Others who folded:

"Brockton casino developer says he’ll pull out if no deal soon" by Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff  September 09, 2015

The Chicago-based investor who has pledged to spend up to $200 million on a Brockton casino says he may walk away from the deal unless the state Gaming Commission takes swift action on his proposal.

“I’ve got other things to do,” said Neil Bluhm, who along with local partner George Carney is proposing a sprawling casino and hotel complex on the Brockton fairgrounds near Route 123. “Do I want to be here? Yes. I’m not giving an ultimatum, but I’m not going to sit here waiting forever.”

Bluhm said he is concerned that the commission may delay the awarding of a license for the Southeastern Massachusetts region if it decides to wait for a resolution of legal status of a rival casino bid from the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe.

“The Mashpee face a long legal road,” Bluhm said during an interview on Wednesday. “I don’t want to spend the time, effort, or money waiting around.”

The US Bureau of Indian Affairs has indicated that it will soon rule on the Masphee’s application to take 150 acres of land in Taunton into trust, a necessary first step for the tribe to take advantage of its special status as a tribe to open a casino there.

But Bluhm said that land-into-trust decision is virtually assured to be appealed, which could begin a yearslong legal odyssey through the courts, similar to the one involving the Narragansett Indian tribe of Rhode Island that ended with a US Supreme Court ruling against the tribe.

Bluhm said he is not opposed to a tribal casino, but he is opposed to waiting on the sidelines for years to come.

The developer of casinos in Ontario, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Illinois, Bluhm has watched for months as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has delayed awarding a license for the Southeastern region, one of three resort casino licenses for the state. During that time, a rival proposal for a casino in New Bedford seemed to be coming together, and then collapsed in July.

Mass Gaming & Entertainment, Bluhm’s and Carney’s partnership, is now the lone applicant for the license.

“I’m not saying, ‘Pick our proposal,’ but I am saying, ‘Consider our proposal, see if it qualifies for a license and if it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth, then make a decision, even while the tribe’s case remains unresolved,’” Bluhm said.

But the Gaming Commission is under no legal obligation to award it, and some panel members have explicitly stated that they reserve the right to not issue a license.

At the request of Mass Gaming & Entertainment, the Gaming Commission opened a comment period last week on whether it should make a prompt up-or-down decision on the Brockton proposal. The comment period is open through Sept. 18. (Further information is available on the Gaming Commission website.)


Related: Gambling panel offers no guarantee on Brockton proposal

All that is left is to play the slots, but where?


Wynn outlines changes to proposed Everett casino
City, Wynn meet on Sullivan Square improvements
Changes in Springfield casino project raise questions
Springfield mayor welcomes MGM assurances on casino

The game is on!