I had the opportunity to attend the local Augusta County Republican breakfast event at Mrs. Rowe’s restaurant yesterday that had guest speaker Paul Harris from Americans for Prosperity. Very interesting and informative about the foundations efforts to keep America prosperous and an environment for all citizens to grow and prosper.
In attendance was Republican Delegate Ben Cline who is also a member of Americans for Prosperity and spoke of his efforts in the Virginia assembly to highlight and inform the public of wasteful spending within the state government.
One of the things that Delegate Cline brought up was the amount of money spent by the Virginia Lottery to advertise the States lottery program. Delegate Cline informed the room full of Republicans and local media representatives that the Virginia Lottery has a advertising of $26+ million dollars.
This advertising budget has been used to promote the lottery which offers numerous ways for the public to legally gamble their money with some of the proceeds going to the Virginia education system. A check of the Virginia State Lottery website shows that lottery sales for the fiscal year of 2007 was over $1.3 billion and with that $437.1 million, or 32% went to education grades K-12th. $791.7 million went to the lottery winners, $76.4 million to the Retailer’s, and $68 million to the Virginia State Lottery for “Operating” expenses…
Delegate Cline then pointed out that after numerous requests, it was disclosed that the “operating” expense account of the Virginia State Lottery included the payment of $250,000 to Donald Trump for the use of his name and image on a past “Scratcher” lottery ticket.
Cline also discovered that the Virginia State Lottery has paid $860,000 from it’s operating budget for the use of the “Deal or No Deal” theme for the above “Scratcher” ticket.
I also found that the Virginia State Lottery is presently offering or soon will be a total of 83 “Scratcher” lottery tickets… http://www.valottery.com/scratchers/new.asp
With total lottery sales in 2007 being over $1.3 billion dollars with 32% of that going to our education system as required by state law, do we really need 83 different scratch lottery tickets? Is it really required to spend $860,000 on a single lottery ticket theme to ensure or maintain lottery sales? Will those playing the lottery now stop if themes like “Deal or No Deal” are not offered?
What if we stopped spending so much like a quarter million dollars to use Trump’s image or close to a million dollars for “No Deal” and spent that money on teacher raises and better books?
*** Delegate Cline has provided the following link to his bill which would reduce the advertising budget by half and sending that money to our education system instead...