Lottery cleanup | Arkansas Blog

Lottery cleanup

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1) Steve Harrelson's photo of the lottery celebration prompted some comment from an admirer of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. "You'd think THEY were responsible," he said. That's Halter, who dreamed up the lottery, got it on the ballot and passed it, over at the edge of the photo toting child. At the center is the governor, who opposed it, and an assortment of others, some of whom never much wanted to give the lt. guv. the time of day. Beginning when he ran for the office against their designee, former Sen. Tim Wooldridge. They're heroes now, with money to pass out.

2) You think maybe House Speaker Robbie Wills should man up and give the Democrat-Gazette's Seth Blomeley a straight-up apology for saying Seth got it wrong in saying the lottery legislation allows a $500,000 salary for the lottery director? It clearly does, why else would cleanup legislation be in the mill? I'm sorry for repeating Wills' erroneous dismissal of the reporting without doing better checking myself.

3) And about ethics: Another quibbler notes that while major vendors and their "agents" and subcontractors are prohibited from making campaign contributions under the lottery legislation, he wonders whether this applies to lobbyists? Similarly, while major vendors are prohibited from giving gifts to lottery employees and members of the legislative oversight commission, its agents and lobbyists are not specifically prohibited from giving gifts. Think that might be worth a cleanup, too? (This quibbler, an occasional lobbyist, doesn't necessarily want more ethics, mind you. He thinks it's unconstitutional to say certain sorts of people cannot make campaign contributions while others can.)

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