Getting answers on 38 Studios can prevent reoccurrence
SHADY POLITICS: Regarding the 38 Studios loan guarantee, Rep. Karen L. MacBeth said “we were led to believe this was going to be a job-creation bill to help our economy and our businesses and what it really was, it was a backroom deal.”
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
By Rhonda J. Miller PBN Staff Writer
Rep. Karen MacBeth is in a high-visibility position chairing the House Committee on Oversight and charged with overseeing an inquiry into the failed 38 Studios video game company and the state’s $75 million loan guarantee to the business.
MacBeth was appointed to chair the panel by new House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who moved into that position in March, with the sudden and dramatic resignation of previous Speaker Gordon Fox after state and federal officials raided Fox’s home and Statehouse office.
MacBeth wants to help ensure taxpayers don’t get stuck footing such a massive bill for a failed state loan guarantee again.
PBN: How would you describe your position as chair of the House Committee on Oversight, with the committee conducting an inquiry into the 38 Studios failure?
MACBETH: The role right now is definitely unique with 38 Studios. The original point of having oversight certainly is to oversee departments and things that are going on in the state, but with 38 Studios, certainly, it’s become bigger than that.
PBN: Did you ever imagine you’d be in this position, moderating hearings on such a controversial topic?
MACBETH: No, I didn’t see that. Certainly, in the role with the new speaker taking over, I’m very pleased that he made me chairwoman because I have been advocating to get answers for months on this. … During the original vote I questioned the leadership and the chairman of finance. … I was a fairly new rep. at the time and they come back with this bill that had increased by $75 million. It was a job-creation bill but I thought, something’s not right here. I made phone calls. I stood on the House floor and said I’m going to look at everything on record that I can and that’s what I did. Had we been told the truth then, this would have never passed.