Hiller: AG Coakley is the loser in casino decision

Move over, Martha, Steve, Don, Charlie and Mark: there’s a new election in town, and before it’s finished it could be just as big as the governor’s race.

The casino referendum will please anyone who wants the state to go green. Except in this case the green will be money, not the environment.

Because that’s what casinos are about: cash! (And jobs, if you support them… ruined lives, if you don’t.)

Though there aren’t any casinos anywhere in Massachusetts, yet we already have a loser: Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The state’s highest court was direct: “we conclude the attorney general erred in declining to certify” the challenge to the casino law, and the people’s right to vote on it.

Coakley says she always wanted the Supreme Judicial Court to decide the question, and knew it would go to court, but that doesn’t change her decision to kill a vote on casinos, which would keep people from having their say.

Step back from the governor’s race and here’s what I see: a state where government is having a hard time governing.

Sure, we’ll have an expensive casino campaign, but casino-building will be frozen for at least four more months until the votes are counted.

A referendum is a signal voters aren’t happy with how officials are performing.

I think the signals are getting louder.

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