Thursday, February 06, 2003

Lottery by County Option?

As mentioned earlier, the state senator that has introduced Governor Henry's state lottery vote bill is also the senator that is trying to overturn the 2002 vote to ban cockfighting by introducing legislation to turn the vote results into a county-option. Like a spoiled brat, this senator, Frank Shurden, has tried at every turn to change the rules of the game each time he loses. Given this M.O. by Shurden, the Legislature should consider Shurden's lottery bill only as a county-option. If the lottery loses when and if it comes up for a vote of the people this year we should assume that Shurden will disregard the will of the citizens and try in 2004 to pass legislation to institute a lottery in counties that voted in favor of the lottery.

Many rural counties can be expected to vote against a lottery so if Shurden again tried to use the county-option idea and he succeeded, the urban areas would likely be the only counties with a lottery and, one would anticipate, the only counties whose schools would benefit from lottery income. It would make as much sense as Shurden's current attempt to rewrite the rules to allow cockfighting in the counties that voted against the cockfighting ban.

Ironically, many of those who oppose a lottery were either against banning cockfighting or have subsequently been silent in defending the right of the state to ban the cruel activity. These people may find themselves fighting Shurden next year when he tries to use his county-option ploy to overturn the results of an anti-lottery outcome of the special election.

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