Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, who last year spent 10 months in federal prison for accepting lavish gifts from contractors who did business with his state, spoke today at a luncheon here in Raleigh sponsored by the John Locke Foundation (my employer). His speech, titled “The Arrogance of Power,” was a timely one, as our state legislature is under fire for ethical lapses, chiefly related to the passage of a state lottery last year. In fact, a former lottery commissioner is currently on trial for his failure to disclose his financial ties to Scientific Games, a vendor that planned to compete for the contract to run North Carolina’s lottery. Our governor, Mike Easley, testified today in that trial.
Rowland said the longer politicians stay in power, the more likely they are to develop an entitlement mentality, and they usually are surrounded by enablers (staff, friends and family) who typically won’t hold them accountable because they develop the same mentality. While in prison he said he grounded himself in his Christian faith, and provided a convincing testimony of God’s grace in his life.
C-SPAN taped the whole thing, so when it is scheduled I will post it…meanwhile, you can view a clip at our Web site.
Update 8/4 8:10 a.m.: Full-length audio of Rowland’s speech is now up.