Here’s a letter to the editor I wrote identifying the connections between special interest groups who oppose a lottery contract, and their motives for undermining a deal that would generate more revenue for seniors programs:
A recent Lancaster Online piece repeats several myths of special interest groups about the proposed lottery contract, offering little balance and overlooking the clear and sustainable benefits to our commonwealth’s seniors.
The leading critic of the contract, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union boss David Fillman, could personally lose under the proposed deal. His union collects about $100,000 in forced dues from state lottery workers who would transition to the private manager. These dues, which total about half of Fillman’s $200,000 compensation, support AFSCME’s lobbying and political spending: nearly $1 million last year.
The article cites the Keystone Research Center, without noting they are another arm of government unions. AFSCME gave $50,000 to Keystone Research Center last year, and two AFSCME employees sit on the KRC board. Is it any wonder they are reading from the same playbook?
In contrast to claims that the process has been rushed, the Department of Revenue issued the invitation for bids almost nine months ago, testified to a legislative hearing in April 2012 and posted the full agreement on its Web site.
The reality is this: Camelot, which runs the U.K. lottery, won an open and competitive bidding by guaranteeing a minimum of $34 billion in Lottery profits over the next 20 years. This would generate $2.3 billion more for senior services over the first decade compared with historic lottery growth.
Privatizing the lottery puts the needs of seniors and taxpayers ahead of special interests.