Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nothing like Mississippi Ethics.

Revolving door government. Gotta love it. Regulate an industry and then immediately go to work as the "head" of that industry. The Sun-Herald reported:

"BILOXI, Miss. -- Larry Gregory, Mississippi's former chief gaming regulator, will become executive director of a casino trade organization in September.

The Mississippi Casino Operators Association said in a news release Friday that it had hired Gregory.

Gregory was executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission for about 10 years. Earlier this year he announced his retirement effective Sept. 1. On Thursday, the Gaming Commission named Allen Godfrey as its new executive director.

MCOA chairwoman Tess Ingram credits Gregory for helping move forward the casinos' recovery and reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina and supporting a law that moved coast casinos as much as 800 feet inland
." Article

So much for the Denton Gibbes law. Of course, one should not be surprised when the regulators are working hand in hand with the people they regulate to raise money for their favorite causes:

"The establishment of a prestigious scholarship endowment coupled with an all-time high in fundraising highlighted the Seventh Annual “Passions of the Palette” event held April 11 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.

More than 150 casino regulators, industry professionals, gaming attorneys and long-time local supporters attended the event, which is sponsored by the Department of Casino, Hospitality & Tourism Management (CHTM) at The University of Southern Mississippi. Approximately 20 CHTM seniors help organize and coordinate the logistics of the annual gala...

The festive evening also included a tribute to Larry K. Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, who was named the Margaret M. McCarthy Industry Partner of the Year. In conjunction with that honor, John Payne, president, central division of Caesar’s Entertainment announced that a $26,400 endowment scholarship in Gregory’s name had been established by corporate donors from the Mississippi casino industry to honor his role in helping build the Southern Miss casino/resort management program and his legacy in gaming education in higher learning.

Dignitaries on hand for the event included Southern Miss President Martha Saunders; Mississippi Rep. Bobby Moak, chair of the House Gaming Committee; Jerry St. Pe, chairman of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and corporate representatives from gaming giants, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International....

Noteworthy donors who contributed the Larry K. Gregory Endowment Scholarship included Ameristar Vicksburg Casino; Beau Rivage Resort & Casino; Boomtown Casino; Caesars Entertainment; Gold Strike Casino Resort; Harlow’s Casino Resort; IP Casino Resort & Spa; Island View Casi
no Resort; Riverwalk Casino & Hotel; Mr. and Mrs. Jerry St. Pe and Tom O’Donell." Article



Anonymous said...

Don't see the issue here. No different than insurance commissioners going to work in the industry, or politicians becoming lobbyists. Plus MCOA doesnot represent the whole industry.

Anonymous said...

Is there something sleazy you know that you aren't saying, or are you just assuming there is something sleazy? I don't really see anything wrong with being hired to do something you have experience doing. I can see why you might take a look at it to see if there was some hanky panky somewhere in the past, but changing jobs in the same industry shouldn't be called "sleazy" by itself.

Kingfish said...

Maybe I have a problem with the top regulators looking at the industries they regulate with an eye towards working for them when they immediately leave office. Wait, I forgot, I'm in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish--you hit the nail on the head with this one. So the person in charge of regulating an industry for ten years now goes to work for that industry. Perhaps the regulatory decisions (or lack thereof) over the last ten years should be reviewed if one might have been planning this golden parachute for a while.

Anonymous said...

Let's see now, ol' Larry's retirement is not effective until September 1, but he has already been named head of this industry group while still on the state payroll???

Shadowfax said...

I don't see the big deal. When Kingfish retires this blog and goes to work for Donna Ladd, we'll talk. Just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I have a problem with the top regulators looking at the industries they regulate with an eye towards working for them when they immediately leave office. Wait, I forgot, I'm in Mississippi.

Would you have a problem with bottom regulators looking at the industries they regulate with an eye towards working for them when they immediate leave office?

Anonymous said...

The MCOA as an organization is never going to appear before the Gaming Commission. I get the impression that you don't know very much about how casinos are regulated here. You do realize that the MGC is entirely funded by...the casinos. That's right - the casinos pay the salary of every gaming commission staff member. Does that present an ethical issue for you? If the mGC approves more casinos, they get more fees and can hire more staff, right? (not that this is an issue as casinos aren't exactly beating down the door to come here)

Anonymous said...

If those whose job it is to regulate/oversee an industry aspire/hope to make more money in a job with that industry in the future, it wouldn't be wise to be a tough minded regulator.
And,as an industry, who better to have in your employ than someone who can tell you the limitations and practices of the group overseeing your industry?
There is a difference between " assuming the worst" as some suggest KF has done, and being realistic about human behavior where profit is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Is any of this really any more sleazy than a paid lobbyist whose wife solicits campaign funding for a myriad of clients in a side business simultaneously serving as an elected government official as Whitwell is doing?

Boarzombie said...

This guy knows gaming. What other industry is he supposed to work in? I guess if he was making moves before he retired that's one thing, but otherwise I don't see the problem.

Anonymous said...

Gregory's been looking for a casino job for the past year at least, while serving as the director of the gaming. He's retired, but still on the state dole as a "consultant" -- more wasted tax dollars!

Anonymous said...

@Boarzombie, this guy does NOT know gaming, he's a career government hack who knows politics and CYA, and now you can add influence peddling...

Anonymous said...

The term Mississippi Ethics is an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

Maybe boarzombie is on to something. Gregory DOES know gaming, remember when he played in a poker tournament when he was deputy director and got his former boss and chief of staff fired for doing the same thing and he got promoted to director? Game on!

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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