Monday, September 8, 2014

State Rep. Candidate Celeste Ribeiro Myers Blasts Opponent For Pledging to Defend East Boston Casino Vote, Then Accepting Thousands from Casino Lobbyists

[This just in from the Celeste Ribeiro Myers campaign]

(EAST BOSTON September 8, 2014)—On July 8, candidate Celeste Ribeiro Myers took the “People’s Pledge” to run a clean campaign, committing to voters that she would refuse any contributions from lobbyists, political action committees and other special interests. In a letter, she challenged incumbent Carlo Basile to do the same.[1]

The Basile campaign never responded to Myers’ invitation.

Now we may know why: Basile’s latest campaign finance report, the first since the start of the campaign, features a donor list that reads like a who’s who of casino lobbyists, Massport and various airport-based businesses, and numerous other special interest groups. With an astounding 47 percent of contributions coming from outside East Boston, the list of donors includes more than 25 lobbyists representing the casino industry – totaling more than $4,000 in contributions since January – including monetary support from a current Mohegan Sun lobbyist and a maximum contribution allowed by law from the Raynham Race Track, a former applicant for the state’s only slots parlor. (see the full list below)

These donations do not square with the image candidate Carlo Basile ran on in 2007, when he said he’d “be beholden to the people of East Boston, and not to anyone else.”[2]

Basile’s best opportunity to date to keep that campaign promise came on Nov. 5, 2013, when East Boston overwhelmingly rejected a casino proposal for Suffolk Downs. Within a few days, a proposal by Suffolk Downs to push the project a few feet across the town line into Revere was brought before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Basile opposed the new project in a letter to the Commission on Nov. 20 and promised his East Boston constituents that he would defend their “no” votes.

But campaign finance records show that Basile would accept more than $4,000 from more than 25 casino lobbyists over the next several months, including a donation in April from a Mohegan Sun lobbyist. Myers was quick to point out that taking campaign contributions from the casino industry not only disrespects the vote of the residents of East Boston, but clearly shows that Basile is beholden to special interests — not the people.

“It’s an obvious conflict of interest,” Myers said. “How can an elected official protect his neighborhood from outside corporations when he’s taking their money?”

Basile has also paid more than $20,000 in campaign consulting fees to Sage Systems, a Peabody-based consulting firm that represents the casino industry, including Mohegan Sun.

The only certain way to defend East Boston’s “no” vote and prevent a casino from being built at Suffolk Downs is to repeal the existing gambling law, which is on the ballot this November 4. Basile has repeatedly refused to support the repeal efforts. His campaign finance records show why.

Myers said she will reform the office of State Representative. Her robust platform includes plans to give residents more say in how Eastie develops; transportation improvements; job creation and economic development; health; and equality and inclusion for all. Most importantly, she said she will listen to her constituents over and above the special interests who will seek to influence her come January.

“The people of East Boston deserve better and have an important choice to make come this November,” she said.

Check out Celeste’s entire platform at

Media inquiries: Steve Holt, 617-447-6519
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Twitter: @celesteboston
[1] "Myers Refuses Donations From Special Interests," East Boston Times-Free Press, July 21, 2014.
[2] “Hubster Interview: Carlo Basile,” Hubster Blog, Sept. 12, 2007.
Since January, Carlo Basile has raked in more than $4,000 from known casino lobbyists[1]:

    George Atanasov, ML Strategies (represents Wynn Massachusetts LLC.) - $100
    John Bartley - $200
    William Cass – The Suffolk Group - $200
    Julie Cox, ML Strategies - $100
    Mark Delaney, Delaney & Associates - $100
    William Delaney, Delaney & Associates - $100
    Roger Donoghue, Donoghue, Barrett & Singal (represents the American Gaming Association) - $200
    Paul Donovan, Kearney, Donovan & McGee - $200
    Martin Fisher, Serlin Haley - $200
    Charles Flaherty, Capitol Consulting - $200 (currently lobbies for Mohegan Sun)
    Maureen Glynn, Murphy Donoghue - $200
    Dennis Kearney, Kearney, Donovan & McGee - $100
    Richard Lynds, fmr. attorney representing Suffolk Downs - $250
    William Malloy, The Malloy Group - $125
    John and Diane McGlynn, McGlynn and McGlynn - $300
    Kevin Mulvey, Dewey Square Group (PR for Friends of Suffolk Downs) - $100
    Martin Nastasia, Brown Rudnick - $200
    Nixon Peabody Attorneys at Law - $200
    Paul Pezzella, Dewey Square Group - $100
    Joseph Ricca, Dewey Square Group - $150
    Charlene Rideout, Kearney, Donovan & McGee - $100
    Robert Rodophele, Ferriter, Scobbo and Rodophele - $125
    Paul Scapicchio, Sage Systems - $200
    Patricia White, Robert F. White Associates - $300
    Robert White, Robert F. White Associates - $200
    W. Paul White, Robert F. White Associates - $100

[1] 2014 Pre-Primary Report for Carlo Basile (1/1/14-8/22/14), Massachusetts Office of Campaign Finance,