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Joan Vennochi

Lawmakers’ ‘interest’ in casinos

Whatever happened to meaningful ethics reform?

By Joan Vennochi
Globe Columnist / November 3, 2011

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Beacon Hill is giving new meaning to the term, naked self-interest. As a six-member legislative panel finalizes details of the Bay State’s high-stakes casino bill, the House member leading negotiations declared that he’s inclined to oppose any efforts 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 state Rep. Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee), according to the State House News Service. Wow. The casino industry can’t manage one measly year in Massachusetts without assistance from the brilliant minds who make up the Legislature?

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