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Pro-Gambling Governor Patrick Losing Support In Massachusetts

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Governor Duval Patrick came into the gubernatorial race a couple of years ago in Massachusetts as the fresh face that was preparing to bring Massachusetts into the twenty-first century when it came to casino gambling. Patrick proposed casino resorts, and residents of the state bought in and elected him governor.

Now, several years later, Patrick is losing the support of several union groups and thousands of residents in the state. The governor's attempts to bring casino resorts to Massachusetts have failed now two years in a row.

Last year, former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi led a charge in legislature to defeat a Patrick proposal that would have authorized four casino resorts. This year, the damage was much worse for Patrick, who vetoed a bill that was sent to him from the Senate and House.

The main point of contention in the bill for Patrick was the addition of slots for state racetracks. The governor had been strongly opposed to the slots for the tracks, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo pushed hard for their inclusion in the bill. DeLeo represents an area where several racetracks are located.

When Patrick vetoed the bill, union groups started to turn on the governor. IBEW Local 12 and its 7,500 members informed the governor that they will not be endorsing Patrick. the union backed Patrick in 2006.

Residents are equally upset that the governor and the legislature could not come together on a bill. Many Massachusetts residents spend their weekends traveling to neighboring states where casino gambling is legal.

"I really didn't think that allowing the slots at the tracks was that big a deal. The governor should have signed the bill," said Steven Bracken. "It just seems like it became a battle of wills and a political issue instead of the governor doing what was best for the us."

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