The Gamblin’ Regent
The news is that Twin River is lobbying to be a full-fledged casino again (which really just means making the virtual table games real). But what caught my attention is who is helping to lead the charge: George Caruolo, Governor Chafee’s nominee to be the Chair of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.
Caruolo, a one-time advisor to the Mashantucket Pequots, registered to lobby for the holding corporation that owns Twin River on Jan. 26. A week later, he surfaced as Governor Chafee’s choice to chair the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.
After his lobbyist filing came to light on Monday, Chafee spokesman Michael Trainor said Caruolo, a former adviser to the tribe that owns Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, disclosed his relationship with the owners of the Lincoln slot parlor “when the governor first approached him” about chairing the board that sets education policy for the state.
“The governor sees no problem with George taking on lobbying assignments,” including this one, said Trainor…
Well, I see a problem. Are we so jaded, so anything-goes as long as its “legal” that we can’t see the problem with the guy in charge of educating our kids also actively lobbying for a gambling operation? This is what happens when our political leaders keep going into the same shallow pool of insider “talent” whenever a leadership position comes up (see Hunsinger, Christine). Yeah, no cronyism here.