MuniLand

The rule of law prevails for the Pennsylvania lottery

By Cate Long
February 14, 2013

In the media appearance above, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announces that the contract drawn up by Governor Tom Corbett to privatize the state’s lottery management “contravenes the Pennsylvania Constitution and is not statutory authorized.” Translation: Pop- Bam- Take that, governor – You don’t have the power that you think you have.

This is one of democracy’s more glorious moments.

I wrote in early December around when Corbett’s deal to privatize the lottery became public:

There is a lot of darkness and a web of connections around the efforts to privatize the Pennsylvania state lottery. Tom Corbett, the governor of Pennsylvania, is attempting to force through the privatization before the legislature comes back into session in January and has a chance to review the terms of the 20-30 year deal. Democrats are howling.

It was a fatal mistake for Corbett to take a public asset, with expected cash flows of $70 billion over the next 20 years, and give its control to a British firm with no legislative oversight. It was crony politics and it failed.

If public assets are to be given to private interests, it must happen by daylight. These deals that often last decades must be thoroughly examined. The rule of law must prevail.

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