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New In The Phoenix -- Culture, Caucus, And Casinos

In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I write about the newly-formed Cultural Caucus in the Massachusetts state legislature, and its unexpected first big issue: gaming.

The group of about a dozen legislators (so far) is co-chaired by senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and representative Smitty Pignatelli. They plan to advocate for arts-related funding, projects, and related interests inside the statehouse.

But many in the arts community see a huge threat in the possibility of slot parlors and resort casinos coming into the state -- and gaming legislation is expected to hit the House side, at least, within a couple of weeks.

Jumping into that dicey issue could put the new Caucus and its members at odds with powerful pols -- and key allies for the arts community -- like Therese Murray, Robert DeLeo, and Tom Menino, just to name a few.

Caucus members sound like they're ready to plunge in anyway. Read about it here: 

The Cultural Caucus's Big Gamble: Formed to be a savior of the arts in the Bay State, a political coalition is playing high-stakes poker by putting casinos in its sights.

Also, check out the new Phoenix editorial, which takes on the ACORN controversy, and the merger of two local AIDS organizations.

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