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Casino Shockers: ProJo Yes, Kennedy No (posted Oct. 23, 2006)

The weekend brought two shocks to this year's referendum on a proposed Narragansett/Harrah's gambling casino in Rhode Island. After years of opposing a casino, the editorial page of the Providence Journal has endorsed the proposed casino and urged voters to cast ballots in favor of the proposal. Ignoring the issue of amending the constitution, the paper emphasized the casino's jobs and economic development potential, and concluded that it was time to support the casino.

Monday's paper brought forth an even more surprising turnabout. Congressman Patrick Kennedy told Mark Arsenault of the Providence Journal that he was voting against the Question One casino. "I think it's a bad deal for the state," he said. "We in Rhode Island essentially have the third-largest casino in the region between Lincoln and Newport. We garner over $230 million a year -- it's a big chunk of money. We lose that if this deal goes through."

Throughout most of the 1990s, Congressman Kennedy fought hard for the Narragansett Indians and supported their efforts at economic development. His turnaround makes you wonder what happened to the previously close relationship between Congressman Kennedy and the Narragansetts.