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N.C. Senators Blast Lottery's Passage

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Senators Blast Lottery's Passage

As Gov. Mike Easley signed the bill that will bring a state lottery to North Carolina yesterday, some senators weren't impressed.

Sen. Charlie Albertson, who represents Sampson County and was one of only five Democratic senators opposed to the lottery, said he was disappointed in the vote. Harnett County's Sen. Harris Blake blasted the backroom machinations that saw the bill pass the Senate with two of its Republican opponents absent.

"All the things that went on in order to get that vote I thought was very inappropriate and I said it on the Senate floor," Sen. Blake said. "We've been doing it like that for 140 years. We need to decide one day that this way of doing business has played its way. It's one of the reasons people are so suspect of the process. Until we make some major changes in that I think it's going to maybe always be that way."

Sen. Blake said he didn't know how that would come about, but said he would make his voice heard.

"There were not battles won at this point on this issue but the issue has certainly been surfaced, I believe," he said.

Sen. Albertson said he was always opposed to the lottery.

"I've been opposed to it ever since I've been in the legislature, but it looks like we are going to become a me-too state as far as the lottery is concerned," Sen. Albertson said.

Sen. Albertson said the razor-thin vote, which was 24-24 until the tie was broken by Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, reflects the large numbers of North Carolinians who were opposed to the lottery.

"I do think the close vote is an indication of how people feel about gambling in this state," Sen. Albertson said.

Absent Senators

The vote passed because two Republican Senators who had opposed the lottery were unavailable for Tuesday's session, which was announced Friday after senators had been told no new business would be conducted until next May. Sen. Harry Brown was on a belated honeymoon and couldn't be reached, and John Garwood was in hospital with a leg infection.

Paired Vote Fell Through

Sen. Blake said as of Tuesday morning, Sen. Garwood had agreed to pair his vote with a Democratic lottery supporter, a procedure that would cancel out both votes and leave the opposition majority intact.

However, that changed sometime Tuesday morning.

"There were a lot of people trying to persuade him to do that," Sen. Blake said.

"I assume that the leadership were part of the process that helped him to decide to do what he did. I'm not going to second-guess what he did, but I am saying the way we did it was certainly not very pleasant."

Gov. Mike Easley has pushed for a state lottery since 2001, saying it will raise much-needed revenue for public schools. But Sen. Albertson said he does not think a lottery will be as beneficial for schools as some politicians say.

"I think we will see that it will not be the panacea that some think it will be," he said.

Sen. Albertson said a lottery may even hurt education funding.

"It may cause us to have more difficulty in passing school bonds. I suspect there will be a group of people who think that because we have a lottery, we don't need more revenue for school construction," Sen. Albertson said.

Sen. Albertson said with gas prices rising higher and higher, people won't have as much disposable income to spend on the lottery.

"We will have to deal with it the best way we can. I hate to see it, but that's where we are," Sen. Albertson said. "I felt like I did what was best for the people in this state and I'm not sorry for how I voted."

Sen. Blake said he's concerned at the moral decisions the Senate has made this year, citing a vote on increasing alcohol levels in beer and a disagreement over religious symbols in the Senate Chapel.

"Certainly if you look at it from a moral point of view we're moving pretty fast from what I am convinced our whole culture was built on," he said. "People say everybody else does it — my folks told me it didn't matter what the other folks did, I wasn't going to do it. That's pretty good teaching."

Dunn Daily Record

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5 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by Litebets27.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23652 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 1, 2005, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

In case anyone didn't notice, I'm looking to bring the most complete coverage to this issue that I can.  There will be a few more articles posted today.

I'm trying to present all sides of the issue.

 

Check the State Lottery Report Card
What grade did your lottery earn?

 

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

    Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
    Atlantic Mine, Michigan
    United States
    Member #416
    June 23, 2002
    1614 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 1, 2005, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

    Well thanks Todd.  I really disagree with this situation.  I highly doubt that half of the state of North Carolina's population (the 24-24 vote) would not approve of a lottery as the senators that voted against claimed.  I mean look at the boarder cities, they are giving almost $300,000,000 a year to other state lotteries, why can't they get that money themselves.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    Brad

      Ladyluck2005's avatar - underground
      Denver, CO
      United States
      Member #13465
      April 6, 2005
      68 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 1, 2005, 8:35 pm - IP Logged

      Well thanks Todd.  I really disagree with this situation.  I highly doubt that half of the state of North Carolina's population (the 24-24 vote) would not approve of a lottery as the senators that voted against claimed.  I mean look at the boarder cities, they are giving almost $300,000,000 a year to other state lotteries, why can't they get that money themselves.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      Brad

      You have to love the Bible Belt & the influence it has in this state.

      Wink


        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 3, 2005, 10:47 am - IP Logged

        The people who oppose lottery need to remember it's completely voluntary. Nobody is required to buy a ticket.

          Litebets27's avatar - power
          Maryland
          United States
          Member #10465
          January 14, 2005
          6065 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 3, 2005, 11:14 am - IP Logged

          The people who oppose lottery need to remember it's completely voluntary. Nobody is required to buy a ticket.

          Oh my...... I finally found something that Cash Only has said that I can agree with. You are so right.

          This has also got me thinking about Maryland's Govenor's quest for slots here. I oppose the idea frankly because I don't see how the State will benefit from it. It may help the Horse racing industry that is having financial difficulties. But I just don't care for slots.

          I know alot of people who love slots. And a few of them would put their last quarter in to a slot machine every week no matter what they should be spending their money on to survive. I know I don't have to play, but I'm trying to look after my friends and relatives who have this weakness that makes them think that they have to feed a slot machine with their last penny.

          By-the-way. I don't oppose lottery in any State. I do oppose administrators who find ways to manipulate funds from lottery to benefit themselves.

          litebets