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Cicilline Calls Proposed Casino "Lazy Economic Development"
(posted June 27, 2004)
Providence Mayor David Cicilline called the proposed Harrah's casino about to
be placed on the November ballot "lazy economic development". The
Mayor made his comments today on the WSBE-TV show "A Lively
Experiment". He argued the casino in West Warwick would suck jobs out of
Providence and hurt the city's restaurants and nightspots. "It changes
the dynamics of the state," he said. "I just know the danger it
poses to the capital city."
Another guest, Guy Dufault, who provides consulting help for the Narragansett
Indian tribe on the casino, discussed confidential polling data he had seen
on the casino. He said that his private polling showed that having the
Narragansett tribe associated with the casino added "18 points" to
public support for a casino. This finding is relevant in light of whether the
casino actually is sponsored by the Narragansett tribe or by the out-of-state
entertainment company Harrahs.
The show featured negative comments about the General Assembly's recent
budget decisions and process. University of Rhode Island political science
professor Maureen Moakley described a legislative decision to remove the
judicial branch from state purchasing and personnel procedures and from
review by the governor a "disaster". She said she was concerned
about the potential of deals between the judiciary and lawyers in the
legislature with the governor having no effective review of judicial actions.
Former news anchor Dave Layman complained about the budget being "rammed
through" without adequate discussion. His comment came in light of news
reports that legislators got the text of the casino bill minutes before being
asked to vote on it.