What prompted the BeloJo to do an about-face on the casino?
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  October 25, 2006

If there’s a real political shocker this year, it’s how the Urinal this week came out with an endorsement of Question 1, the controversial casino ballot question.

This endorsement, a switch from the Other Paper’s previous stance, has been a topic of conversation everywhere P&J have gone. The gist has been, “Why would the staid, restrained Urinal put the good word in for a project that alters the state Constitution to help a Las Vegas-based glitz and gambling enterprise make millions of dollars off Little Rhody?”

This enterprise would also let the General Assembly decide, after the vote, just how much the Narragansett Indian tribe and its corporate partner will have to give the state. Now that’s good government in action.

One wonders whether the possible influx of mucho advertising bucks from the Harrah’s coffers, as we head down the stretch toward Election Day, might have swayed the BeloJo. Such a windfall would doubtless flow to Dallas headquarters, just as millions will find their way from here out to Lost Wages if the casino is built.

Phillipe & Jorge personally like Attorney General Patrick Lynch, but we are absolutely baffled by his recent actions. If you were trying to lose, you couldn’t make more mistakes in a campaign, as he has regarding the tragic Station nightclub fire case.

Then again, Lynch came off as fairly reasonable when compared with his GOP opponent, Bill Harsch, based on their appearance on Newsmakers last week. The verbal slugfest was highly entertaining, with Harsch talking about practicing law while his opponent was still in grade school, and Lynch asserting that the Republican’s insight into criminal law may have come mostly from CSI: Miami and Law & Order.

Unfortunately, all this back-and-forth does nothing to help those affected by the nightclub disaster. Patrick must know as well as anyone, given his family’s involvement in politics, that the Biggest Little gets even smaller when it comes to word of mouth. There are very few Vo Dilunduhs who don’t know someone touched by the fire, whether it was the 100 people who died or the more than 200 injured, not to mention relatives and friends. They are most definitely not amused.

Like Harsch, P&J question Patrick’s laughable assertion that he was not involved in the plea deal. Add the recent revelation that court documents related to the case won’t be publicly available until after the election, due to his office not being able to file it for three weeks. This doesn’t take into account other issues being raised by Harsch, including the question of whether other people, such as the fire inspector in West Warwick, should have been held to account for the tragedy.

Lynch’s fumbles have helped the previously little-known Harsch. With a reaction from those affected by the Station fire, a la the RISDIC scandal, and Little Rhody’s two degrees of separation, Lynch, formerly a chalk favorite, just might be on the outside looking in.

The end is near
Shortly after the Bud-I was convicted and a Democratic primary took place in Providence to select a candidate for mayor, ace BeloJo political reporter Scott MacKay told P&J, “This will be either the first election of the new Providence or the last election of the old Providence.”

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