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.
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?