Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Blasts Governor’s Secret Meeting with Casino Mogul Steve Wynn
Earlier this week, Las Vegas-based casino mogul Steve Wynn vowed to spend upwards of $100 million in order to develop the community neighboring a $2-billion casino project in Everett, Massachusetts. The casino project, to be called Wynn Boston Harbor, has been met with plenty of resistance from nearby cities, including Boston.
Now, a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, Setti Warren, is blasting state’s sitting Governor, Charlie Baker, for meeting secretly with Wynn during Baker’s recent trip to Nevada. Earlier this week, it was learned that Gov. Baker secretly met with Wynn, who also happens to be a top GOP donor, during a trip to Nevada last month. Baker’s public itinerary only included a clean energy summit and a visit to the site of the Las Vegas shooting massacre that occurred on October 1. Any meeting with Wynn was not on the schedule.
Wynn mentioned his meeting with Baker during his appearance at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday. Local news outlet MassLive reported that Wynn and Baker discussed economic development issues in connection with the aforementioned casino project in Everett.
Warren Campaign Statement
Newton Mayor Setti Warren, who is set to run against Baker in the 2018 gubernatorial race, blasted Baker for the clandestine meeting. John Walsh, Warren’s senior campaign advisor, said, “Governor Baker’s decision to hold a secret meeting in Las Vegas with a major Republican donor who has billions of dollars worth of business before the state raises serious questions that should be answered. If Steve Wynn had not mentioned it in a speech, we might not even know that this off-the-books conversation even happened.”
Walsh added, “Since it appears Gov. Baker’s team made an effort to hide this clandestine, out-of-state meeting, it is not unreasonable to ask about the topic of conversation. Did Gov. Baker want to talk to Mr. Wynn about funneling millions of dollars into his campaign account? Did Mr. Wynn have a favor or two to ask the Governor of the state where he is building a billion-dollar casino?”
Warren believes that the reasoning behind the meeting between Baker and Wynn should be revealed rather than kept a secret. Warren is intimating that the two parties may have met in order to discuss potential contributions from Wynn to Baker’s run for re-election as Massachusetts mayor in 2018.
Warren also hinted that the meeting may have had something to do with the integrated resort that is set to open its doors sometime in the summer of 2019. There is a chance that Wynn even asked for some sort of favor in relation to his project.
No Response from Baker’s Camp
The Massachusetts Republican Party has not yet responded to requests for comment from local media on the alleged secret meeting. A representative from Governor Baker’s team did say that the meeting solely revolved around economic development issues in the Boston area rather than potential campaign donations.
Warren will be one of three Democratic representatives in the upcoming gubernatorial election. The other two Democrats vying for Gov. Baker’s seat are Jay Gonzalez and environmental activist Bob Massie. Baker is currently in his first term as Governor of Massachusetts. Baker has not yet indicated that he plans to run for re-election, but it is commonly believed that he will do so.
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