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GTECH makes political donation days after gambling contract awarded

GTECH CorporationGTECH Corporation: GTECH makes political donation days after gambling contract awarded

Six days after winning a state contract, the company Pennsylvania chose to run its computer system for slot machines gave $50,000 to a national nonprofit that raises money for Democratic governors — including Gov. Ed Rendell, the group's finance chair.

GTECH, a Rhode Island lottery company, has given $481,267 to the Democratic Governors' Association since 2000, according to a political watchdog group. But the payment March 8 had nothing to do with the $6.3 million a year contract announced by the state Department of Revenue, officials said Wednesday.

Rendell spokeswoman Kate Philips said the state's decision to award GTECH the gambling contract was unrelated to the company's contribution to the governors' association.

"I don't think the timing is curious at all," she said.

The timing was a coincidence, said Bob Vincent, GTECH's spokesman. The contribution followed an annual invoice for membership dues, Vincent said. GTECH has made similar donations each of the past five years, according to invoices GTECH received from the association and federal tax records compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit.

Dependent on state contracts for its business, GTECH is a "very politically active company," said center spokesman Bill Allison. The company ranks 13th among contributors to the Democratic Governors' Association — behind several unions and large corporations, according to the nonprofit's analysis.

"It's not so much the timing (of the contribution)," Allison said. "It's hard to say any individual contribution led to contracting action, but it's easier to show (GTECH) is a politically savvy company that has spent a lot of money over the years."

GTECH, with annual revenues of $1.25 billion, also has given $169,050 to a comparable group for Republican governors.

The Revenue Department picked GTECH for the state's first major slots contract from among 10 competitors in a secretive process that did not follow normal bid procedures. The goal was to move quickly, Philips said. The department won't name the other bidders or say how it selected a winner.

Penny Lee — Rendell's communications director until she was named executive director of the Democratic Governors' Association in April — also discounted a connection between GTECH's contributions to the association and the state contract.

"There is no connection," Lee said. "They're two separate things, the DGA and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue."

As the group's finance chair, Rendell raises money for the organization, Philips said. Because of the state's ban on corporate giving to political candidates, the governor makes sure he doesn't directly benefit from the money he raises, she said.

That's not to say Rendell doesn't receive money from the association. The group has given $462,000 to Rendell's gubernatorial campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The Rendell for Governor campaign in 2002 received five donations from the Democratic Governor's Association, beginning Sept. 17 and ending Nov. 4.

A world leader in lottery systems, GTECH gets high praise from industry analysts even though it lost executives in the past to allegations of bribery, kickbacks and a coverup. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation last year after Brazilian prosecutors recommended bribery charges for two GTECH employees and filed a $650 million lawsuit against the company's Brazilian subsidiary. The criminal charges never were filed.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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7 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by Rip Snorter.
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Sparta, NJ
United States
Member #18331
July 9, 2005
1977 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 22, 2005, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

Reminds me of that classic line in Stalag 17 - I belive her!

Cheers

|||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

    Avatar
    Blaine WA
    United States
    Member #17275
    June 15, 2005
    117 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 22, 2005, 5:35 pm - IP Logged

    it reminds of the statements made by two of our presidents

    i am not a crook

    i did not have sexual relations with monica

    the odds do not mean much to those who win the jackpot

      TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
      A long and winding road
      United States
      Member #17084
      June 10, 2005
      4580 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 22, 2005, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

      Ahh I love to hear about my home state making such headlines! Taking donations is NOT against any law that I see on the political books. Taking bribes to get a contract is! I doubt real highly that the donations *hurt* GTECh in getting the contract. But to assume that one hand washes the other is simply not in the scheme of PA politics.  I mean afterall this is the same state that recently spent over 400k to send our PA Dept of ED people to California for an *offsite* conference!(that included golfing, bar tab,recreational activities) They simply didnt want to be interrupted was the response they gave the public.  Go figure.

      ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

      pa:888,4445,6132,4444,8008

        Avatar
        New Mexico
        United States
        Member #12305
        March 10, 2005
        2984 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 22, 2005, 8:49 pm - IP Logged

        it reminds of the statements made by two of our presidents

        i am not a crook

        i did not have sexual relations with monica

        "It doesn't hurt him.  He likes it."  Lyndon Johnson, when he lifted his beagle hound up by the ears.

        "The buck stops here."  Harry Truman.

        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

         

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          Beautiful Florida
          United States
          Member #5709
          July 18, 2004
          20244 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 22, 2005, 9:27 pm - IP Logged

          just a coincedence, yea and the "Cow" jumped over the moon..!

          How did they come up with a figure of $481,267, what ? did they throw in a couple of dinners for two in there. Or maybe a trip to the islands along with that...!

                                                       

                                                         " You can not control the Wind, but you can direct the Sail "

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #1505
            May 13, 2003
            95 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 22, 2005, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

            now u know why u,r lotto games is fix

              Avatar
              New Mexico
              United States
              Member #12305
              March 10, 2005
              2984 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 23, 2005, 8:06 am - IP Logged

              now u know why u,r lotto games is fix

              Seems to be inherent in gambling.  Just goes with the territory. 

              All you can do is cut the cards and live with it, or quit.

              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