— Eye on Everett —

“He’s a foolish gambler. He loves to gamble” – The mayor’s Blue Suit 

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“I’ve never told anyone what I’m going to tell you about the mayor,” his Blue Suit said to me. “I’m not excited. I know what I’m doing. I just want to get this stuff off my chest so people will know who the mayor really is,” his Blue Suit told me.

“I know how popular my discussions are with you with an awful lot of people – the people who matter – those Everett readers, homeowners, businesspeople and voters who read your column,” the Blue Suit added.

“He continues to wear me all the time. I thought he might trade me in for a new off the rack suit…but no…he is stubborn. He won’t change. If he does, he believes it looks as though you are winning and he is losing,” the Blue Suit said whimsically.

“You remember how he told you he was going to put you out of business in four weeks? I was there with him when he charged down to your office on Church Street and blustered his way in to see you. In his own mind, he believed he was going to destroy you and to put you out of business. Others had told him it was a bad idea, that you couldn’t be crushed and that you had very loyal friends who never give up and who would never let you down. Still, he couldn’t be stopped from trying to act like a tough guy when in fact, everyone knows he’s just a small city bully out to hurt people and to enrich himself at everyone else’s expense.”

“You really believe this?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Yup. No question about it. Very few people know that he did that once before to the former owner of the Leader Herald. He went down to Church Street and shook him up a bit. That was really messy, scary, almost, especially if you were the former owner, who was not really able to defend himself. He wasn’t that kind of guy.”

“OK. What were you going to tell me about Kickback.”

“Please don’t call him Kickback. He hates it. It drives him crazy that anyone could be so brazen as to call him a name he deserves and what’s worse, he knows the name fits him perfectly!”

The Blue Suit and I shared a cool moment. We were both having fun.

“It’s too bad the mayor couldn’t be with us today to enjoy a laugh or too,” I suggested.

“Are you kidding?” the Blue Suit protested. “He doesn’t laugh at this stuff. He boils. He rages. He hates. He gets wild like I’ve rarely seen him. When a guy as big and out of shape as he is bounces out of control angry, I get really worried. What if he fell and crushed me! God that would be bad! When some of these columns get around the city and are posted on the Internet, he doesn’t want to see certain people because he knows they read the column and laugh at him privately while telling him they are disgusted by what they read and what a bad person you are. And by the way, Josh, they don’t just call you a bad person, they call you things that are obscenities – crude, vulgar, ignorant, racist obscenities. He agrees with all of their vulgarities and has a few choice ones of his own. He gives inspiration to the haters with the vulgarities he comes up with. He’s just like Trump in that way.”

“What were you going to tell me?” I asked the Blue Suit again.

“He absolutely loved Steve Wynn. He believed Steve Wynn was his ticket to a room filled with gold that would be hisvery own. I never saw him so happy, and eating so much, as when Steve Wynn was around during the early years when the casino deal was coming our way. He had a strong thing for 16-ounce Kobi beef steaks and baked potatoes with a ton of sour cream and butter back then – as long as he wasn’t paying.”

“What was the fascination with Wynn? Why was he such a hero to Kickback,” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Because Wynn satisfied the mayor’s need to be doted upon and to be agreed with. Wynn knew how to make the mayor feel much more important than he is. That was an art with Steve Wynn. He always talked to him with that suave, soft, sonorous voice as though he and the mayor were the only two sharing a secret about what they were doing. The mayor felt ten feet tall talking with him, meeting with him, being around a man of such great wealth. Wynn was the richest man the mayor ever knew who he was able to call on the telephone. He was also generous to the mayor.”

“How so?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“He gave the mayor chips to play with at the casino in Las Vegas. It was a lot of chips. Believe me,” the Blue Suit revealed to me. “It must have been a million dollars worth of chips I would estimate.”

“Who’s going to believe that? Do you have any proof?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“Do I have any proof? Are you kidding me? I was there, Josh. I was in the room. I saw it happen. What a great moment for the mayor. If there was a high point to his life, that was it,” the Blue Suit said unequivocally.

“Did he gamble with the chips?” I asked.

“Yes. He lost everything in two days – and then he had to be persuaded by friends not to ask Wynn for more chips!”

“He’s a bad gambler,” the Blue Suit went on. “He loses miserably all the time. I’ve been with him many times when he’s lost big money. He’s a bad card player. He chases hands instead of letting them play out. Him losing big money is good for his ego. He doesn’t mind losing. It’s playing with the bad from the North End, smoking cigars and drinking Scotch, rubbing elbows with them that matters to him. Being around the table with those guys makes him feel important. But with those guys from the North End, well, they need to be paid back when he loses – and sometimes that gets pretty hairy for the mayor because he’s basically always broke.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Yeah. He admired Steve Wynn because his private life was so outrageous. Wynn used and abused women (or so it is alleged) as often as some people who love chocolate eat
a Milky Way or a Baby Ruth candy bar. Didn’t matter to the mayor. As you know, he’s had his own run-ins with the other sex or rather, they’ve had run-ins with him. What Steve Wynn was able to do and to get away with impressed the mayor,” the Blue Suit said soberly.

“Even when it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that Wynn had done terrible things to women, the mayor still loved him. In his own mind, this was him being loyal to Steve Wynn. In fact, during his speech at the opening of the casino last year, the mayor noted Wynn in his speech and reminded everyone listening that he would always be loyal to Steve Wynn. I thought that was a bad idea, especially since virtually no one in state government including the governor wanted to stand at the opening of the casino because of Steve Wynn’s deplorable and ruined reputation.

“And the mayor cried during the speech! Can you imagine that?”

“What was he crying about?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“That room of gold Steve Wynn was promised him and which the mayor thought would be his.”

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