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AC City Council, Casino Gaming, Political

Bob McDevitt Contra Mundum

   The Revel bonding issue has turned in to a power play.  Bob McDevitt has taken on everyone and anyone that agrees with City Council’s intentions to bond $56 million on behalf of Revel Entertainment.  We outlined our opposition to City Council’s bonding not once, but twice. It is difficult to judge a person’s intentions.  Yet in this case, Mr. McDevitt has outlined his intentions.

   Mr. McDevitt appeared in the Press of Atantic City and on the Harry Hurley show.  Mr. McDevitt’s reasoning is weak at best.  His position is correct, but his reasoning is two-fold.

   First, to approach upcoming labor negotiations from a position of strength and intimidation.  Mr. McDevitt has already shown casino gaming that he and his union associates can influence the casino licensing process.  In other words, if a casino operator does not play according to Local 54’s rules, then they will lose their license.

   Second, Mr. McDevitt wants to expand his influence.  Former-Senator Bill Gormley used to work in tandem with then-Mayor James Whelan to control what happens in Atlantic City.  There is no longer a big, sophisticated powerbroker in Atlantic City.  Mr. McDevitt leads South Jersey’s largest union, the Atlantic City Democrat club, and now wants to challenge City Council. 

   It is improper for City Council to bond $56 million for a private project.  Revel adds insult to injury in this case.  Revel promised both a first-rate gaming operation and the improvement of the infrastructure surrounding the proposed casino site.  Now, Revel is begging both local and state government to split the bill for road improvements.  Repairing the Boardwalk adjacent Revel and the roads were part of what made the project so appealing to many city residents.  Revel blames the reneging of their initial infrastructure promise on the troubling credit markets.  It looks more like Revel played a good bluff.

   Both City Council and Revel should ask the good people of this City if it is ok to borrow their good faith and credit, for $56 million.   It ends up that Bob McDevitt is on the right side of the issue for the wrong reasons.

   We support Mr. McDevitt’s petition and hope to circulate it.  There have been numerous calls made to Local 54, yet so far no information on how to become a petition circulator.  That raises another question, “Is there a petition at all?”  Neither I, nor anyone I know has seen a copy of the petition.  What if Mr. McDevitt, too, is bluffing a strong hand?


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


3 thoughts on “Bob McDevitt Contra Mundum

  1. Jessie, [sic] I went to this item to look for the city ordinance on the Revel Bond (I believe that you said you had it posted on your site) but I was unable to find it.

    However, I tookj the time to review your statements and found two very serious errors:
    1. “It is improper for City Council to bond $56 million for a private project.” It is incorrect to make such a statement…this is not a City Bond…THE CITY IS NOT FLOATING THE BOND…IT IS A REVEL BOND.

    2. “Revel should ask the good people of Atlantic City if it is of to borrow their full faith and credit, for 56 milliion.” I don’t think this is accurate either. The City’s full faith and credit is not at risk on this bond and Revel is not borrowing on the City’s full faith and credit.

    I think it would be important to look at the State law on this bond arrangement. I would like to see both the Ordinance and the State law posted so that this issue can be properly vetted as Bob McDevitt wrongfully holds up a nuch needed $2 billion PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT that is 99.9+% PRIVATELY FUNDED (the only portion that could be construed to come from a public funding source is the $20+ million through the CRDA for the roadway work…and this too is proper because other casinos like TAJ and SHOWBOAT are also benefiting by this roadway immprovement).


    Posted by george amiriantz | August 15, 2008, 3:46 pm
  2. Here is the city ordinance, https://cityofatlantic.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/ordinance-59.pdf . I will work to get the state legislation posted, as well.

    Posted by Jesse O. Kurtz | August 15, 2008, 3:51 pm
  3. George is completely correct on this. As I posted in reply to your previously stated view on this, it is entirely appropriate and within the purview of council to make this deal. If city council’s job isn’t the construction of roads and infrastructure to encourage jobs, taxes and development, what is it??? We know in AC it’s many other unsavory things, but for once, they got it right.

    Listen closely now: THE CITY IS NOT PUTTING UP ANY MONEY NOR TAKING ANY RISK!!! Even if Revel goes belly-up, the bondholders will buy out the city’s bonds before they get burned. NO RISK!

    And you should be very careful aligning yourself with McDevitt. He’s playing a dangerous game. He is backed by both Whelan and Gormley and will do what he thinks is necessary to grab power in AC. This petition is very dangerous and needs to be defeated. If McDevitt is successful with this, nothing will stop him.

    This is so clearly a UNION play. If Revel had gone along with the Local 54 program, McDevitt would LOVE them. But since they’re being rational and weighing how to respond to his demands, McDevitt is going to teach them a lesson about power. Hope it blows up in his fat face.

    Posted by dave202 | August 15, 2008, 10:50 pm

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