This year's recipient of the Stan Rosenberg Award for Unwarrented Hubris in a Legislative Role is none other than Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee)!
Wagner, who sits on the six-member gambling bill conference committee believes that a one-year ban on government officials from working in the gambling industry - which originally started as a five year ban - is still way too harsh, because:
“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,”Following this statement, the Committee once again quickly scurried to safety behind closed doors.
Not surprisingly, Stan Rosenberg, (D- Amherst) the senator for whom the Unwarrented Hubris award's was created, also serves on the committee, a prerequisite for which would appear to be narcissistic personality disorder.
Earlier this fall, during the Senate 'debate' on the gambling bill, an ammendment to create a five year ban on legislators from working in the industry compelled Rosenberg to notoriously argue that:
"passing such a no-revolving-door amendment would actually contribute to public cynicism about lawmakers by creating the impression that such a restriction was necessary to protect the public trust and ensure integrity.”After convening that discussion behind closed doors, the Senate decided to drop the ban from five years to one.
It remains to be seen as to whether, following the current closed door session, the Conference Committee will, in the best interests of the industry, reduce the one-year ban even further and mandate legislators a guaranteed full year of casino employment upon leaving office, to include a lifetime pension and an automatic MacArthur Genius Fellowship.