posted on April 13, 2006 13:50
Sometimes politics seems to slip from the unusual to the absurd.
The Lottery Commission is spending $10 million on advertising.
But, according to the Winston-Salem Journal (3-15-06), under state law “No advertising may have the primary purpose of inducing persons to participate in the lottery.”
So why is the Lottery Commission spending $10 million on advertising? Alice Garland, lottery spokesperson, had a hard time answering that question. Ms. Garland said, “We believe you can educate people about the game and make it appear fun and entertaining, without enticing people to play.”
So, we’re going to show people the lottery is fun and entertaining – but that’s not enticing them to play.
It seems to me the lottery has turned out to be a can of worms in an unexpected way. It has brought more dishonesty to North Carolina politics than any government program in memory. And that’s saying a lot.
First, the Governor and the leaders in the legislature promised all the money would go to pay for new education programs. Then that turned out not to be true. Governor Easley has taken half the money to spend on other things. We’ve had what appears – we won’t know for sure unless the Attorney General indicts someone – to be illegal lobbying to pass the Lottery Bill. We’ve had the paid agent (who, apparently, no one knew was paid) of one of the gaming venders appointed to the Lottery Commission itself – where, if it had not been for the newspapers, he would have been voting on who got lottery contracts. And we have Lottery advertising – but ‘not’ to get people to play the lottery.
The lottery is beginning to look like ‘Typhoid Mary.’ Maybe at first glance she looks harmless, but there are a lot of unexpected consequences.
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