Oregon Lottery doesn't allow public to comment at meetings

Oct 21, 2011, 8:51 am (20 comments)

Oregon Lottery

Some are upset over new Web site

Northwest Portland resident Bill Crane, bothered by news reports that the Oregon Lottery might be targeting youths with its planned new Internet site, The ORcade, wanted to give the commission that oversees the agency his two cents worth.

The timing was good. The Lottery Commission meets Friday morning, and Crane figured he'd drive south to Salem and sign up to talk. Problem is, the commission doesn't allow public testimony at its regular meetings, and told Crane that in no uncertain terms.

Now he's even more upset.

"When the government is preparing to do something that terribly wrong, you should be able to look them in the eye and tell them so," Crane said.

Testifying in front of a public agency is, after all, something of a cultural pastime in Oregon, whether it's an angry roomful telling off Portland Mayor Sam Adams, or a lone citizen begging the state Transportation Commission to hurry up and build the Dundee bypass already. Most public bodies around the state set aside at least a few minutes on the agenda to take public testimony.

Not the lottery.

"That's just how we've always done it," said lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann. He said the agency is working on a process that will allow public comment on its future marketing strategy, and that Crane would be welcome to make his points then. Furthermore, Baumann said, the Oregon Lottery at times invites witnesses to testify before the commission if members see the need.

"As far as someone just coming in off the street, it's not the way our commission meetings are run," he said.

The lottery has the law on its side. According to the Attorney General's public meetings manual, public boards and commissions are required to allow public attendance, but not necessarily public participation.

Yet, the lottery appears to be an outlier in its refusal to let members of the public directly address the commission during board meetings. Among the boards that set aside time for public testimony are the state Board of Higher Education, the Oregon Board of Education, the state Transportation Commission, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

Even the relatively obscure State Aviation Board allows time for public comment on its monthly agenda. Should someone want to.

"That's part of what the Aviation Board is all about," said Roger Sponseller, administrative assistant for the board that helps set aviation policy for the state.

The regular agenda for SAIF Corp., which handles workers' compensation claims, doesn't include time for public testimony. But that's because no one ever shows up, said Chris Davie, SAIF vice president for public affairs.

"If anybody wanted to speak, the board would certainly listen to them," Davie said. And yes, that includes walk-ins.

On Thursday afternoon, Crane received an e-mail from Lottery Director Larry Niswender, essentially reiterating what Baumann had told him previously. Niswender suggested Crane submit his comments in writing this week, then stay tuned for an opportunity at a later date to offer oral commentary.

Crane said he isn't satisfied by the lottery's response. He said he plans to attend today's meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. at the lottery's Salem headquarters. In his response to Niswender, Crane wrote:

"You'll be able to pick me out as the mild-mannered looking middle-aged guy in a coat and tie in the front row, looking exceptionally quiet."

It's his way of protesting.

"I've testified three or four times" in front of other public agencies, Crane said. "I've never, ever been denied. I think they're making a huge public relations error."

Big flap over new Web site

The reason behind Crane's desire to make his opinion known to the Oregon Lottery is a new Web site called "The ORCade", which some government officials believe gives the impression that the lottery is targeting kids.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Lottery to postpone the new Internet game site because he's worried the cartoon graphics and online games may appeal to minors.

Kitzhaber called a meeting Tuesday with Lottery Director Larry Niswender and Lottery Commission Chairman Steve Ungar to talk about the site's rollout.

The move comes amid criticism the lottery website smacks of the 1980s "Joe Camel" cigarette ad campaign that ended after complaints it was aimed at youngsters.

"It's clear who's a target of something like that," said Debra Merskin, a University of Oregon communications professor who has worked on state lottery marketing campaigns in Florida and Illinois. "It's cultivating future customers."

The ORcade was supposed to go live this month or next, offering free video games, social networking and second-chance jackpots for losing scratch-off tickets.

The governor will be asking the Lottery Commission to "review its marketing campaign to make sure it's not targeting youth," Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael said. Kitzhaber appoints the five-member commission, which includes the director.

The governor had no objections to the website earlier this month. But when he looked at the site, he became concerned about its marketing impact on minors, Raphael said.

The site contained an animated introductory video, which has since been removed.

Last year, the lottery generated similar concern when it spent heavily on ads for a Scratch-its ticket called "What's in Santa's Beard?" in which players scratched off icons on a drawing of Santa Claus to see if they won money.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

joshuacloak's avatarjoshuacloak

what's to stop mirrors form playing?

O only the Parents.......................

god i hate these Protect the children at all cost type's

same thing to smokers logic ,  where the bloody hell is parents in all this.

the govt and other folk, should mind their own business, am in my 20s and i perfer "updated" websites  thank you for much.

what kids,aka mirrors do and don't should be parents issue.  not Mine or anyone else's

same thing for tv,  i want all cussing and ever thing on tv, if you don't like kids seeing it, will  yell at the parents and not the adults.

and then their the people attacking video games.    and wanting bans and proof of ID, my god......................

                   who buys the tv and consoles,               who pays for this stuff>?      parents your the FREAKING police of what your kids get access to.

,  for beep sakes let us buy and play any game we please.     

parents do your job. and stop telling adults how to live our lifes,  just cease you can't control your own children.

  if their child is online  wageing bets, its not a public issue, its a parent issue............. or lack of parenting for that matter.

 

this world going to hell in a handbasket as it is,    people can't mind their own business!   ,  let alone parent their kids worth a ......................................

ohiojack
Not only do the parents need to stop their "mirrors form playing", the parents should make sure their children learn how to spell and use correct grammar so they will sound credible when they write a comment.
billbo45

the lottery is always targeting children, when they use money for a school event they have big signs thank you lottery or this is brought to you by funds from the ny state lottery. Just go to a minor league baseball game when its school day its all about the lottery.

time*treat's avatartime*treat

"That's just how we've always done it."

Somewhere in there is a joke about spraying hungry monkeys with cold water.
Thinking of...

Researcher

But what about those poor defenseless MIRRORS????  They'r so helpless!

Raven62's avatarRaven62

Next Stop: The Oregon Governors Office!

psykomo's avatarpsykomo

Quote: Originally posted by ohiojack on Oct 21, 2011

Not only do the parents need to stop their "mirrors form playing", the parents should make sure their children learn how to spell and use correct grammar so they will sound credible when they write a comment.

Let's forget about "the mirrors form playing"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the subject of this news article ????????????????????????

PSYKO sayes the problem is this commissioner who is a jackass in my book

and he should be REMOVED ASAP. Smash Lurking Hit With Stick Boxing Hurray! Puke

Jack-in-the-Box

dpoly1's avatardpoly1

Welcome to the Peoples Democratic Republic of Oregon !  Puke

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

This is great!

A nanny-state, do-gooder lib, versus nanny-state libs entrenched in power, who, as is their custom, don't give a rat's ass about what the taxpayers want.

I love it!

These are the ones I like to sit back and watch unfold as each looney lib has to deal with the lunacy of the looney libs opposing them.  LurkingLOL

louise black

Quote: Originally posted by rdgrnr on Oct 21, 2011

This is great!

A nanny-state, do-gooder lib, versus nanny-state libs entrenched in power, who, as is their custom, don't give a rat's ass about what the taxpayers want.

I love it!

These are the ones I like to sit back and watch unfold as each looney lib has to deal with the lunacy of the looney libs opposing them.  LurkingLOL

No NoCussing FaceThat bull!, you people find everything to be Democrats or Republicans , well NEWS FLASH! that is how most boards do it, you have to submit your question ahead of time so the board can see if its something they want to address ,that how you keep order, I know you Republicans or may I say"Teabaggers" wants order, after all we don't want anyone challenging big business even if its the govt. The Gentleman should be heard ,at the same time following the procedures. The first young man was right it's up to the parents to control what their kids do in their homes and outside for that manner.Where the he$$ these kids a bank card to gamble on line.If a kid try to purchase a lottery ticket he or she will be asked for ID, I have witness it.Approve

Todd's avatarTodd

Quote: Originally posted by louise black on Oct 22, 2011

No NoCussing FaceThat bull!, you people find everything to be Democrats or Republicans , well NEWS FLASH! that is how most boards do it, you have to submit your question ahead of time so the board can see if its something they want to address ,that how you keep order, I know you Republicans or may I say"Teabaggers" wants order, after all we don't want anyone challenging big business even if its the govt. The Gentleman should be heard ,at the same time following the procedures. The first young man was right it's up to the parents to control what their kids do in their homes and outside for that manner.Where the he$$ these kids a bank card to gamble on line.If a kid try to purchase a lottery ticket he or she will be asked for ID, I have witness it.Approve

I'd suggest being careful about throwing around the word "teabaggers".  Because now people are starting to refer to the other side as "fleabaggers".

Name calling is usually best to leave out of the equation.

JADELottery

You say teabagger.

I say fleabagger.

Let's call the whole thing STUPID!

Tenaj's avatarTenaj

Quote: Originally posted by JADELottery on Oct 22, 2011

You say teabagger.

I say fleabagger.

Let's call the whole thing STUPID!

Thank you JADELottery!  Now, lets see, what was the topic here? Oh yeah, Oregon Lottery doesn't allow public to comment at meetings.

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Quote: Originally posted by louise black on Oct 22, 2011

No NoCussing FaceThat bull!, you people find everything to be Democrats or Republicans , well NEWS FLASH! that is how most boards do it, you have to submit your question ahead of time so the board can see if its something they want to address ,that how you keep order, I know you Republicans or may I say"Teabaggers" wants order, after all we don't want anyone challenging big business even if its the govt. The Gentleman should be heard ,at the same time following the procedures. The first young man was right it's up to the parents to control what their kids do in their homes and outside for that manner.Where the he$$ these kids a bank card to gamble on line.If a kid try to purchase a lottery ticket he or she will be asked for ID, I have witness it.Approve

If you'll re-read my post Louise, you'll find that I never mentioned Democrats or Republicans.

It just tickled me that the power-entrenched libs find themselves at odds with one of their own and he seems to be one of the really annoying ones who just likes to complain and make a big scene for no reason other than enjoying it.

If there's one thing libs like to do - it's annoy people. Look at the ones occupying Wall Street - do you think banging on drums all day and night is meant to accomplish anything besides annoying people? Do you think urinating all over people's property and in their doorways isn't meant to annoy? Do you think that defecating on American Flags and on police cars isn't meant to annoy anybody with a sense of decency? That's just what libs do - that's who they are.

It's just nice to see this one instance in Oregon (which is mostly libs) where they are whining and annoying their own kind for a change.

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