The Providence Phoenix has gotten into the ProJo's stash of premium-grade crack rock. Behold:
We recognize that in contemplating the future there is always an element of uncertainty. But on balance, we favor the idea of casino gambling and we urge a "yes" vote.
It's common knowledge that the State House is riddled with cronyism. It's up to the state's constitutional officers to hold the General Assembly's feet to the fire in this deal to make sure the taint of corruption and narrow special interests can not penetrate it. Also of extreme importance will be establishing proper oversight: not only over the casino itself, but also over West Warwick town officials, whose lax regulation contributed to the dreadful Station fire.
Rampant cronyism caused the flammable foam to be attached to the aging tinderbox structure of the Station, killed 100 people, and the town is going to emerge relatively unscathed from the legal proceedings and the Phoenix is arguing that this cronyism is just going to melt away like a late spring snow for the casino proceedings? Why doesn't any media outlet in Rhode Island realize the casino is a bad idea? And, barring the entire casino issue, why doesn't anyone realize altering the state constitution to suit the whims of a big business and popular vote sets a horrible precedent? At the Massachusetts gubernatorial debate last night, a question was asked amendingending Massachusetts' constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Deval Patrick summed up my feelings on the willy-nilly amendments to state constitutions quite nicely:
I'm disappointed, I will say, that we are submitting this question to a plebiscite, to a popular vote, because it was resolved as a matter of constitutional rights... Constitutional balance is not about taking issues that are supposed to be of a Constitutional nature and then submitting them to a popular vote. The way you address that is you change the Constitution.
The State Representatives have tried to alter Rhode Island's constitution to allow a casino, and it couldn't get a majority of senators to agree. We have a constitution to protect the minority and the people of the state. Stop tinkering with the constitution to allow big businesses to do what they want and screw over the middle- and lower-class Rhode Islanders. THIS CASINO IS A BAD IDEA. These people can inform you as to why. I am going to drown myself in a bucket out of frustration.