Repeal effort claims to have gathered enough signatures
The Repeal the Casino Deal campaign said Wednesday it has collected and filed more than 90,000 signatures in its effort to put a question repealing the casino law on the 2014 statewide election ballot, according to the group’s spokesman David Guarino.
The group is optimistic the signatures filed by Wednesday’s deadline with local election officials will result in the certification of the necessary 68,911 needed to put the binding measure before voters. The signatures certified by local communities must be filed with Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office by Dec. 4.
The campaign gained momentum after votes defeating casino proposals in East Boston and Palmer earlier this month, according to Guarino, and built through the final days before Tuesday’s vote in Milford, where voters defeated a Foxwoods-backed casino project.
“This has been a huge grass-roots effort,” he said. “After the East Boston and Palmer votes, hundreds of new volunteers signed up, and donations started to come in, so we were able to pay some people to gather signatures.”
Following the Milford defeat, a group of local officials has called on Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature to rethink the future of casino gambling here. But speaking to reporters at the State House Wednesday, Patrick said the law is working exactly as it’s supposed to. “I think this is something we can do well if we do it the right way.” State Representative Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston Democrat who has been an opponent of casino gambling, said she sees voters saying the cost of casinos is too high.
“It seems that towns considering casino projects are paying close attention to the details, weighing the economic potential against the costs to residents’ quality of life, and deciding that the costs are just too high,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Globe. In addition to gathering the signatures, Repeal the Casino Deal is also challenging in court Attorney General Martha Coakley’s decision not to allow residents to vote to overturn the casino law. The state’s Supreme Judicial Court allowed the signature drive to continue pending a hearing on the appeal.