State Senator Tim Larson told the Hartford Courant he did not initially comment about his criticism of a state agency he secretly wanted to lead because he had a bad week. Part of that bad week was being outvoted 18-6 after he led a backdoor maneuver trying to shut down a public hearing on a bill calling for an open, competitive process for a commercial casino in Bridgeport that would create thousands of jobs. The state currently operates under a gaming monopoly in which it receives 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting the state’s two tribal nations that run Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun exclusivity. Are monopolies in the best interests of taxpayers? Larson thinks so. But what’s the real reason?
Larson, co-chair of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, says he’s all in for the tribal nations because they want to build a casino in his East Windsor district to counter MGM Resorts nearly $1 billion casino under construction in Springfield, Massachusetts. Larson’s rigged game against a competitive process was overruled by a number of legislators who wonder why Larson is protesting so loudly given legislative courtesy traditionally permits proposals that are supported by multiple legislators to at least have a public hearing.
Larson’s breaking a lot of bones abusing his authority. When that happens it’s just a matter of time before someone wonders, what’s the real deal with that relationship? If you want to kill a bill, it’s much better to be a silent assassin. Nuance is not exactly a Larson specialty. And he’s also treasurer of Stamford State Rep. William Tong’s run for Connecticut attorney general. Larson’s not doing Tong any favors with this type of heat, especially someone running for Connecticut’s top legal position.
So when William Tong asks for your vote, ask him “Why do you have a jobs killer as your campaign treasurer?”
From John Lender, Hartford Courant:
Sen. Tim Larson, D-East Hartford, voiced sharp criticism Thursday of Connecticut Lottery Corp. officials in his role as co-chairman of a legislative committee that held a hearing about the million-dollar blunder at the Jan. 1 lottery drawing in the Super Draw game. “The word that comes to my mind is ‘slipshod,'” he said.
What he didn’t voice was something that his listeners and constituents might have been interested in knowing–that he filed a confidential, and unsuccessful, application last year for the high-paying and still-vacant job of CEO at that very same quasi-public lottery corporation.
Moreover, Larson refused to talk about it when asked repeated questions by a reporter outside the hearing room in the Legislative Office Building: Did you apply? “I’m not gonna comment.” If you didn’t apply, you could just answer no. “I’m not gonna comment.” It might look better if you comment than if you don’t, because either way the column will be written. “I’m not gonna comment.”
It’s often considered poor form, or worse, for an official not to disclose to the public and other officials that he’s had a personal interest in a matter on which he’s now deliberating in his official capacity. People want to know things like that; what sounds like a simple criticism in a vacuum might sound vindictive coming from a rejected job applicant.
Full story here.