Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Corbett’s Lottery plan looks worse and worse (even after his self-aggrandizing blast email)

Here is the text of an email Corbett sent out in response to groundswell of opposition to his plan to privatize the state Lottery. It was distributed on Jan. 19, just days after House Democrats held a Capitol news conference contesting the plan.

This email was meant to convince (aka deceive) seniors into thinking funding for the programs which benefit them would actually gain from giving our state Lottery to a foreign company. This only proves that Gov. Corbett underestimates the intelligence of Pennsylvania seniors. Once they see the facts, I’m guessing they’ll support this about as much as they supported Rick Santorum’s plan to hand their Social Security savings to Bernie Madoff.

Read my comments below for a more accurate explanation of his propaganda point by point.

1.  Corbett claims there will be at least $3 billion in new revenue generated for seniors just by handing over the Lottery.

Not so fast. Even if you buy his numbers, any additional revenue generated would come from expanding the Lottery to include Keno and video poker. Heck, PA could meet or exceed those projections if we expanded under our current system, owned and operated by PENNSYLVANIANS.  That would make additional dollars under the Corbett giveaway, ZERO.

2.   Wow, $50 million set aside in this year’s budget. That one time infusion of cash will definitely make up for the property tax hikes or the millions cut in last year’s budget on programs to keep seniors in their homes. This year’s $50 million won’t help much in future years when Camelot fails to meet projections – for heaven sake it will barely cover the bonuses it’s handing out to its top executives this year!
3.  This is fantastic news…but the current Lottery already has its offices in Pennsylvanian, so this isn’t really a gain. And Camelot had already lost a little credibility when it set up shop in neighboring Delaware …home of the infamous tax evasion haven – Delaware Loophole.

4.  Camelot has already pledged to hire some employees back, which pretty much proves they’ll be making layoffs. Sure those workers could apply for unemployment compensation, if only the phone lines at Labor and Industry weren’t always busy. 

Having the phones lines tied up, is the Corbett’s strongest strategy for keeping Pennsylvania’s unemployment numbers down, and he’s still failing!
5.  First, it’s just kind of hard not to laugh when this governor talks transparency.  How many of these phone conversations were with voicemail? or how many staff members from the same office sat in on a meeting? Plus the testimony at public hearings came after Corbett’s announcement to award the contract. Although I’m hopeful an intrepid reporter will request the list of the 100 legislators Corbett spoke with, but that’d probably result in another lawsuit against a member of the press – so much for transparency.