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N.C. lottery bill weakening

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. lottery bill weakening

After two decades of losing, it finally looked like supporters of a lottery in North Carolina had themselves a winner. But the lottery now looks like a sure thing that started strong and faded down the stretch.

A vote shy in the state Senate, supporters are coming up short against a coalition that has yet to back down. And so unless leaders can shake loose one more "yes" vote, North Carolina appears all but certain to remain the only state on the East Coast without a lottery for another year.

"I don't know if they're going to pass it or not," Loyd Ferrell said while scratching off instant-win tickets recently at a convenience store in Bracey, Va., about 65 miles north of his home in Raleigh. "It's just a chance. You never know when you might get lucky."

Lottery supporters, after two decades of futility, thought this was the year their luck had turned. They won a House ballot in April by two votes, sending the lottery to the Senate, which had historically supported a numbers game and is home to the closest allies of Democratic Gov. Mike Easley, an ardent lottery supporter.

But then came weeks of negotiations over the state budget that diverted the attention of lawmakers. In the rush to wrap up business for the year after legislators finally agreed on a spending plan, all of the Senate's 21 Republicans, along with five of the chamber's majority Democrats, remained steadfast against the lottery.

Opponents hold a 26-24 advantage in the 50-seat chamber; unless a member of that majority switches their vote and creates a tie, sure to be broken in favor of the lottery by Democratic Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, Senate leaders are unlikely to call for a vote this coming week when the legislature is set to adjourn for the year.

"I don't think the government should be advertising gambling," said Democratic Sen. Janet Cowell, one of the so-called "Lottery Five" who were unswayed by meetings with Senate leaders and the pleas of public school teachers who say a lottery would generate more than $400 million annually for education. "I don't think a lottery's good public policy."

So strong is the opposition that Democratic Sen. David Hoyle darkly joked at one point that the lottery's only chance is if some senators can't vote. "If there's an ax murderer on the floor, we might be able to move forward," he said.

Lawmakers have already decided where the state's rake of lottery proceeds will go - school construction, college scholarships for low-income students, and Easley's initiatives to reduce class sizes and prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten. But they must first pass the separate legislation enacting the lottery before the money begins to stack up.

"The lottery seems to be the quickest and easiest way to raise money," said Tammie Page, a fifth-grade teacher in Sampson County, who drove to Raleigh to track down Democratic Sen. Charlie Albertson, one of the holdouts.

Lottery bills have for years knocked around the General Assembly like the familiar pingpong balls of drawings in other states. The Senate has approved a lottery at least three times, only to have the idea die in the House.

The odds of a numbers game emerging in North Carolina got better in 2000, when Easley made passing a lottery a pillar of his first campaign for governor. It's been a winning issue ever since; polls have repeatedly shown about two-thirds of North Carolina residents back a lottery.

But religious conservatives opposed to gambling have joined liberal advocates concerned about its social consequences. The polls don't reflect that odd political dynamic, said Ferrel Guillory, who heads the program on Southern politics at the University of North Carolina.

"The polls say there's a lot of public support for the lottery," Guillory said. "But within the policymaking and opinion making, the lottery is opposed from both the right and the left."

Pure politics are involved, too. The Senate's Democratic leaders believe there are some lottery supporters among Republicans in the chamber. But the GOP, sensing a rare victory in the Democratic-controlled Legislature, has held together.

"The Republicans have locked all the members down," said Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand.

The pressure on lawmakers has grown since South Carolina and Tennessee both started games, leaving North Carolina surrounded by lottery states. Lottery supporters say North Carolina residents spend $300 million annually on out-of-state games.

"We don't expect to lose all of those sales, but we don't have a lot of competition obviously there right now," said Donna Van Cleave, interim director of the Virginia Lottery, which gets as much as 10 percent of its sales from North Carolina. South Carolina gets 12 percent of its sales from its northern neighbor.

Both the Senate and the House will return to Raleigh this coming week, although they're not scheduled to do much more than tie up loose ends before formally adjourning. If there's no vote then on a lottery, it's a sure bet lawmakers will resume their debate next year.

"As long as the budget remains tight, and you're going to get a pent-up demand for new school construction, that will keep the lottery debate alive," Guillory said.

And until then, players from North Carolina will find a place to wager on a lottery's bouncing balls.

At the Bracey Mini Mart on a recent Sunday, half of the cars parked outside the popular destination for lottery players from North Carolina had license plates from the Tar Heel state.

B.J. Jacobs, 21, of Rougemont, left the store in his souped-up pickup after spending $100 with the hopes of striking it rich.

"There's a possibility the $100 becomes $100 million," Jacobs said.

AP

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15 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by wizeguy.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar

United States
Member #1826
July 11, 2003
2645 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 20, 2005, 1:48 am - IP Logged

This is politics at it's worst. Fringe politics taking over the wants of the people. And I'm sick of it. I don't know what whackjobs keep electing the Tom DeLays and Barbara Boxers of the world, but they sure don't represent the American electorate. Heck, they don't even represent the county electorate. But I guess this is the consequence of a two-party system, a consequence we have no control of changing. These two parties will always choose the wackos to lead them, and people will just keep electing them. They will keep electing them because that's what the TV told them to do.

(insert signature here)


    United States
    Member #16612
    June 2, 2005
    3493 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: August 20, 2005, 2:45 am - IP Logged

    I wonder when NC will pass a bill for their lotto. I will be disappointed if NC still doesn't have lotto for another year. I wished they join PB in 2006 to compete with MM.

      wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

      United States
      Member #15143
      May 10, 2005
      414 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 20, 2005, 8:12 am - IP Logged

      Vote yes, NC Senate!

       

        konane's avatar - wallace
        Atlanta, GA
        United States
        Member #1265
        March 13, 2003
        3333 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 20, 2005, 11:16 am - IP Logged

        North Carolinians need to email, write, call the people they elected who work for them and put pressure on to get lottery on the ballot. 

        After all the voters will be the ones buying lottery tickets or not ......  and while those elected officials are posturing, voters see useful dollars filling other states' lottery coffers.

        Good luck to everyone!

          Avatar
          New Mexico
          United States
          Member #12305
          March 10, 2005
          2984 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: August 20, 2005, 11:18 am - IP Logged

          This is politics at it's worst. Fringe politics taking over the wants of the people. And I'm sick of it. I don't know what whackjobs keep electing the Tom DeLays and Barbara Boxers of the world, but they sure don't represent the American electorate. Heck, they don't even represent the county electorate. But I guess this is the consequence of a two-party system, a consequence we have no control of changing. These two parties will always choose the wackos to lead them, and people will just keep electing them. They will keep electing them because that's what the TV told them to do.

          It's called representative democracy, Jimmy.

          The majority of voting population of NC hasn't wanted a lottery in the past, or it hasn't been enough of a key issue to cause them to swing their votes to candidates who favor one.  Seems to still be the case.  It's for NC people to choose and not for the rest of us to reason why.

          If 51 percent of the rest of the US cared enough to do it we could send the Army down there and force them into it, but last time that happened it was a costly affair.  While the eyes of the winning side were focused on places like Gettysburg and Shilo, the French took over Mexico.

          Can't have stuff like that happening too often.

          Jack

          Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

          It's about number behavior.

          Egos don't count.

           

          Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

           

            JAP69's avatar - alas
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #6
            November 4, 2001
            8790 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 20, 2005, 11:29 am - IP Logged

            If they can not raise enough money for school funding thru taxation and the lottery bill does not go thru RAISE TAXES

            MAGA

              Avatar
              New Mexico
              United States
              Member #12305
              March 10, 2005
              2984 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 20, 2005, 12:57 pm - IP Logged

              They will, whether it passes, or doesn't.

              Something North Carolinians can count on, same as the rest of us.

              Jack

              Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

              It's about number behavior.

              Egos don't count.

               

              Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser

               

                Ladyluck2005's avatar - underground
                Denver, CO
                United States
                Member #13465
                April 6, 2005
                68 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 20, 2005, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                This is politics at it's worst. Fringe politics taking over the wants of the people. And I'm sick of it. I don't know what whackjobs keep electing the Tom DeLays and Barbara Boxers of the world, but they sure don't represent the American electorate. Heck, they don't even represent the county electorate. But I guess this is the consequence of a two-party system, a consequence we have no control of changing. These two parties will always choose the wackos to lead them, and people will just keep electing them. They will keep electing them because that's what the TV told them to do.

                It's called representative democracy, Jimmy.

                The majority of voting population of NC hasn't wanted a lottery in the past, or it hasn't been enough of a key issue to cause them to swing their votes to candidates who favor one.  Seems to still be the case.  It's for NC people to choose and not for the rest of us to reason why.

                If 51 percent of the rest of the US cared enough to do it we could send the Army down there and force them into it, but last time that happened it was a costly affair.  While the eyes of the winning side were focused on places like Gettysburg and Shilo, the French took over Mexico.

                Can't have stuff like that happening too often.

                Jack

                Well a large part of NC Wants a lotto....its just the NC leg. hasn't allowed us to vote on it.  Its a small goup that doesn't want it & they hold a lot of power in NC.

                  Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
                  Atlantic Mine, Michigan
                  United States
                  Member #416
                  June 23, 2002
                  1614 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 20, 2005, 4:20 pm - IP Logged

                  How can they say the government should advertise gambling...its not right?  GIVE ME A BREAK....what is it almost 40 other states have lotteries.  Are they too good to be like everyone else and raise money for education.  These lotteries raise tons of moolah for worthy causes.  But I agree if they don't want a lottery then add a few more percent to the states income tax or sales tax.  That'll show em....haha

                  Brad

                    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                    United States
                    Member #15143
                    May 10, 2005
                    414 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: August 20, 2005, 4:40 pm - IP Logged

                    How can they say the government should advertise gambling...its not right?  GIVE ME A BREAK....what is it almost 40 other states have lotteries.  Are they too good to be like everyone else and raise money for education.  These lotteries raise tons of moolah for worthy causes.  But I agree if they don't want a lottery then add a few more percent to the states income tax or sales tax.  That'll show em....haha

                    Brad

                    I hope your taxes go up too :-)

                     

                      GottaBLucky's avatar - avatar 3026.gif
                      Raleigh NC
                      United States
                      Member #18610
                      July 15, 2005
                      363 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 20, 2005, 6:43 pm - IP Logged

                      North Carolinians need to email, write, call the people they elected who work for them and put pressure on to get lottery on the ballot. 

                      After all the voters will be the ones buying lottery tickets or not ......  and while those elected officials are posturing, voters see useful dollars filling other states' lottery coffers.

                      Konane,

                      You are absolutely right about writing or emailing the elected officials.  I emailed several of the senators that are opposing the lottery asking them to change their mind and support the lottery.  Or to at least let the people of North Carolina vote on the lottery bill and pass it.  All North Carolinians that are lottery post members, PLEASE write, email, or call the senators that are opposing the lottery and let them know that we need their "YES" vote for the lottery.  All 21 Republicans are opposing, and 5 democrats.  You can find the names of the 5 democrats that are in opposition in the August 12th article posted on LP,  titled "N.C. lottery's fate could come down to one key vote".  I have also pasted a portion of the article below, showing the 5 Democratic opponents, known as the "Lottery Five".

                      "Five Democratic senators say they oppose the lottery: Janet Cowell of Raleigh, Ellie Kinnaird of Carrboro, Charlie Albertson of Beulaville, Dan Clodfelter of Charlotte and Martin Nesbitt of Asheville."

                      Here is the link to the N.C. Legislative page where you can find mailing addresses; email addresses; and phone numbers for all of the N.C. Senators.  PLEASE call, write, or email and voice your opinion in support of the lottery.  THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!  And maybe we can convince one more to vote "YES".  After all gas is too expensive to have to keep driving to VA or SC (in my case).  All we need is ONE more YES vote!!

                      I Agree!         

                      http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=Senate

                       

                      GOTTA B IN IT TO WIN IT!!

                        wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                        United States
                        Member #15143
                        May 10, 2005
                        414 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 20, 2005, 7:42 pm - IP Logged

                        North Carolinians need to email, write, call the people they elected who work for them and put pressure on to get lottery on the ballot. 

                        After all the voters will be the ones buying lottery tickets or not ......  and while those elected officials are posturing, voters see useful dollars filling other states' lottery coffers.

                        Konane,

                        You are absolutely right about writing or emailing the elected officials.  I emailed several of the senators that are opposing the lottery asking them to change their mind and support the lottery.  Or to at least let the people of North Carolina vote on the lottery bill and pass it.  All North Carolinians that are lottery post members, PLEASE write, email, or call the senators that are opposing the lottery and let them know that we need their "YES" vote for the lottery.  All 21 Republicans are opposing, and 5 democrats.  You can find the names of the 5 democrats that are in opposition in the August 12th article posted on LP,  titled "N.C. lottery's fate could come down to one key vote".  I have also pasted a portion of the article below, showing the 5 Democratic opponents, known as the "Lottery Five".

                        "Five Democratic senators say they oppose the lottery: Janet Cowell of Raleigh, Ellie Kinnaird of Carrboro, Charlie Albertson of Beulaville, Dan Clodfelter of Charlotte and Martin Nesbitt of Asheville."

                        Here is the link to the N.C. Legislative page where you can find mailing addresses; email addresses; and phone numbers for all of the N.C. Senators.  PLEASE call, write, or email and voice your opinion in support of the lottery.  THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!  And maybe we can convince one more to vote "YES".  After all gas is too expensive to have to keep driving to VA or SC (in my case).  All we need is ONE more YES vote!!

                        I Agree!         

                        http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=Senate

                         

                        GOTTA B IN IT TO WIN IT!!

                        Thanks for the link, better than Charlottes site.

                         

                          konane's avatar - wallace
                          Atlanta, GA
                          United States
                          Member #1265
                          March 13, 2003
                          3333 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: August 20, 2005, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

                          North Carolinians need to email, write, call the people they elected who work for them and put pressure on to get lottery on the ballot. 

                          After all the voters will be the ones buying lottery tickets or not ......  and while those elected officials are posturing, voters see useful dollars filling other states' lottery coffers.

                          Konane,

                          You are absolutely right about writing or emailing the elected officials.  I emailed several of the senators that are opposing the lottery asking them to change their mind and support the lottery.  Or to at least let the people of North Carolina vote on the lottery bill and pass it.  All North Carolinians that are lottery post members, PLEASE write, email, or call the senators that are opposing the lottery and let them know that we need their "YES" vote for the lottery.  All 21 Republicans are opposing, and 5 democrats.  You can find the names of the 5 democrats that are in opposition in the August 12th article posted on LP,  titled "N.C. lottery's fate could come down to one key vote".  I have also pasted a portion of the article below, showing the 5 Democratic opponents, known as the "Lottery Five".

                          "Five Democratic senators say they oppose the lottery: Janet Cowell of Raleigh, Ellie Kinnaird of Carrboro, Charlie Albertson of Beulaville, Dan Clodfelter of Charlotte and Martin Nesbitt of Asheville."

                          Here is the link to the N.C. Legislative page where you can find mailing addresses; email addresses; and phone numbers for all of the N.C. Senators.  PLEASE call, write, or email and voice your opinion in support of the lottery.  THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!  And maybe we can convince one more to vote "YES".  After all gas is too expensive to have to keep driving to VA or SC (in my case).  All we need is ONE more YES vote!!

                          I Agree!         

                          http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=Senate

                           

                          GOTTA B IN IT TO WIN IT!!

                          Thanks for the link, better than Charlottes site.

                           

                          Thanks much!! 

                          You have to ask for what you want because people can't read your mind.

                          In the case of an elected official it's the faction who screeches and moans the loudest that gets the most attention.  Yes Nod 

                          Call, email or write to let your wishes be known. 

                          Good luck to everyone!

                            ajbb's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
                            NORTH CAROLINA COAST
                            United States
                            Member #1029
                            January 12, 2003
                            570 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: August 20, 2005, 11:09 pm - IP Logged

                            i live in north carolina and no one more than i would like to have a lottery.but until we get rid of those do gooders we're doomed.they think they speak for everyone which is apparent they don't if so we would have a lottery and would have had one a long time ago.. until then i as well as others will continue to go to our neighboring states to play.