by Max Brantley
It's official. Gov. Mike Beebe doesn't overmuch care about lottery experience for the $350,000 director of the state lottery commission. My reading: Just go ahead and order his old bud Tom Courtway's robe. He's in.
Experience in the lottery industry would be a plus, but not a necessity, for a person seeking the job of Arkansas lottery director, Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday.
“There are certainly people who would probably do a great job without any background at all,” but “having said that, all other things being equal, if you’ve got a qualified person who has experience in the lottery, that, in my opinion, would give them a leg up,” Beebe said in response to reporters’ questions.
The governor continued, “Now if you’ve got somebody who doesn’t have that lottery experience but is just head and shoulders (above) in terms of the qualifications, management experience, style, all of thing things that the commission would be comfortable with doing, I wouldn’t preclude that … but I’d say having the lottery experience, especially in an executive leadership position … would be something that I would certainly take into consideration and give a lot of credit and weight.”
Just for the record, I still submit that Courtway's record at UCA is somewhere short of the quality that you could argue would pre-empt lottery knowledge and experience for a job in a state that's never run a game before. But getting along with legislators and former legislators like the governor? He's DAMN good at that. And given that two legislators and the governor named the people who'll hire the director ....