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Arkansas Republicans upset about makeup of lottery officials

Sep 6, 2009, 7:57 pm

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Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Republicans upset about makeup of lottery officials

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Republican leaders are upset about a lack of representation in the formation and oversight of the Arkansas lottery.

The Lottery Oversight Committee, composed of six House members and six Senate members, contains one Republican.

The remaining members of the commission, picked by Gov. Mike Beebe, House Speaker Robbie Wills and Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Johnson are also Democrats or have Democratic ties.

While Republicans concede that the party in power usually makes selections along party lines, they would have liked to see more parity, they said.

"When people saw the way they were setting up the lottery system for the benefit of the good old boys, they said stop," said State Rep. Brian King, R-Green Forest, the House minority leader. "The people on the commission weren't going to do anything to stop it.

"To me, that's like someone robbing your house and a cop's outside watching, telling you he's concerned about the rise in crime."

But the lone Republican involved in the lottery commission sees no problem with the way things are set up.

"I think the Senate president wanted members who'd been involved in drafting the bill and refining the bill," said state Sen. John Key, R-Mountain Home. "I don't really thing there was anything partisan about it."

Key even jokes about the choices, noting that as a state, Arkansas has more Democrats than Republicans.

"Sen. Shawn Womack (R-Mountain Home), my predecessor, used to say a committee of eight Democrats to one Republican was even," Key said.

Matt DeCample, spokesman for governor Mike Beebe, said the governor wasn't involved in the decision making on who served on the committees.

"That was the speaker of the house and senate president," DeCample said. "Our people were involved in an ad hoc manner, looking at qualifications for scholarships, since the money is going to higher ed."

King said Beebe has paid little more than lip service about the lottery.

"On one hand, Beebe acts like he has all this experience in state government and that's why he should be governor," King said. "But let a problem come up and he runs from it faster than Jessie Owens."

Local state Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, is no happier than King about the lack of bipartisanship on the lottery commission.

"I would have liked to have seen more Republicans and independents appointed to the commission so more checks and balances are brought to the table," Woods said.

Checks and balances is a term used frequently by Republicans these days.

"At least when Huckabee was governor there were some checks and balances in place (because of the number of Democrats in office,)" King said. "But no Democrat will buck Beebe.

"They'll leave the room grumbling. They'll talk big. But they won't vote against him. It's all a dog and pony show. The old Democratic machine is entrenched again."

King is even more emphatic in his overall assessment of the situation.

"This hasn't been setting up an Arkansas lottery," King said. "This has been the fleecing of the Arkansas lottery."

Lottery Oversight Committee

Chairman: Sen. David Johnson, D-Little Rock

Chairman: Rep. Barry Hyde, D-North Little Rock


  • Sen. Terry Smith, D-Hot Springs
  • Sen. Tracy Steele, D-North Little Rock
  • Sen. Mary Anne Salmon, D-North Little Rock
  • Sen. Robert Thompson, D-Paragould
  • Sen. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home


  • Rep. Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia
  • Rep. Robbie Wills, D-Conway
  • Rep. Johnnie Roebuck, D-Arkadelphia
  • Rep. Linda Tyler, D-Conway
  • Rep. Darrin Williams, D-Little Rock.

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5 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by Bradly_60.
Page 1 of 1
chasingadream's avatar - Archangel 01.jpg

United States
Member #38686
May 3, 2006
315 Posts

maybe they should have taken the offer from the folks in GA and went with MM instead....

seems like every since they went with the guy from SC and PB they've had issues and problems. If I were the folks down in GA I would see if there was a way for me to slip in under the radar and offer a better package to the state officials and have the folks from SC booted out....

just a thought *wink*

Oogle  waiting patiently for my jackpot

    Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
    Little Rock, AR
    United States
    Member #68363
    December 19, 2008
    254 Posts

    This is not a real issue. This is just someone complaining over something that is just stupid. Of course their will be more democrats on the lotto board since they are in charge right now. If republicans were the majority right now the situation would be reversed.

      jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
      United States
      Member #44102
      July 30, 2006
      6299 Posts

      This is the Democrat "bi-partisanship", just a word until they get elected.


        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
        United States
        Member #25359
        November 5, 2005
        4461 Posts

        This is the Democrat "bi-partisanship", just a word until they get elected.

        As usual, you have amnesia or maybe you lived out of the country in 2002.  Anyway, the Democrats have been way more than bipartisan.  They're letting the Republicans whine, stamp their feet until they get their way.   In fact, I'm disappointed that our leaders in Washington have felt the need to bend over backwards, since we all know what happens when we do that.

        This is a very silly complaint.   Now they'll be protesting against televised drawings because the lottery officials might try to indoctrinate children by sending them subliminal messages through the TV screen to spend their lunch money on scratch-offs.  Actually, now that I've read the article again, Sen John Key, the lone Repubican official, doesn't seem to have a problem with this at all.  I guess he understands what the word "election" means.

          Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
          Atlantic Mine, Michigan
          United States
          Member #416
          June 23, 2002
          1614 Posts

          A fact I also don't understand.  The lottery was a big battle in the state of Arkansas wasn't it?  And like usual the democrats would vote for it while the republicans would vote against it.  I am sure this happened here as well.  Why would you want people on the board in charge of raising money that were totally against the cause in the first place.  That doesn't make sense to me at all.