Casinos – do not read this with a mouthful of coffee

Remember a few weeks ago when the Massachusetts State Senate painted itself in glory by loudly shouting down a proposed five year ban on legislators accepting jobs in the soon-to-be-born Massachusetts casino industry? After one esteemed Senator indignantly proclaimed that such a ban would create “a presumption that the people in this body cannot operate with integrity,” the Democratic caucus recessed behind closed doors and trimmed the five year ban to a more palatable single year. All in favor? The ayes have it.

Well it seems House Democrats don’t much like being shown up in the self-parody department. Are you drinking coffee? Swallow. Put down the cup. Seriously – coffee stains most anything, and it burns when spurting out of the nose.

Ready? Here’s the State House News this afternoon, reporting on the first non-meeting of the casino conference committee (the joint House-Senate committee charged with trading horses in secret to produce a bill that the Governor has already secretly agreed to sign.  Or something.):

The House member leading negotiations on expanded gambling legislation indicated Tuesday that he’s inclined to oppose an attempt by senators to block lawmakers from working in the casino industry for a year after they leave office.

“It’s my sense that this matter is so important that we should not preclude the best and the brightest from being eligible even if those people would be in government presently,” said Rep. Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee) told reporters at the State House.  

Of course! If the casino industry is to have any chance of flourishing here in the Commonwealth, surely we cannot deny it access to the brain trust that is the Great and General Court. Glad I warned you about the coffee?

Not that there aren’t plenty of perfectly intelligent and able individuals roaming those halls. There are. (Stop it. Seriously – there are. I’ve met them.)  But, I don’t know, don’t we think the multi-billion dollar gaming machine could manage to muddle through for a mere twelve months without access to that particular segment of the workforce?

Rep. Wagner wasn’t done (put down the cup!)… AND READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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