Friday, February 29, 2008

Sticks or Carrots?

Who would have thought Massachusetts would be more genteel than Kentucky? Judging by their respective Democratic politicians, that appears to be the case, at least with respect to gambling issues.

Whereas in Kentucky, the Democratic "leadership" instills loyalty on their side of the aisle by revoking committee assignments from Democrats who do not toe the party line, in Massachusetts, the Democratic bosses deal with their dissenters by giving them job promotions.

That's how SouthCoastToday.com sees it:

The politics of casinos seems to be dominating all thought on Beacon Hill.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Sal DiMasi announced the appointments of eight Democrats to leadership positions, raising their profiles and inflating their paychecks.

Of those eight, five have been proponents of expanded gaming, a position DiMasi has fought with all his being. So immediately there was speculation that the speaker was seeking to cut into support for Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan for three commercial resort casinos, which is expected to be considered by the House this spring.

Whether you believe DiMasi’s latest moves smack of political gamesmanship or not, the secrets and subterfuge going on here can’t match what’s happening in Kentucky.

Only time will tell whether sticks or carrots are better at keeping a herd of donkeys moving together in a straight line.

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