Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dems Dump on Lottery Deal

Democratic leaders in the Legislature are asking Atty. Gen. Kane to kill the lottery deal signed by Gov. Corbett to give lottery management to the Brits.

Dems Dump on Lottery Deal

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Gov. Tom Corbett, right, and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., second left, greet, Kathleen Kane, center, before she took her oath of office for Pennsylvania Attorney General at the state Capitol in Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, in Harrisburg, Pa. Kane is first woman and first Democrat to be elected Pennsylvania attorney general. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Gov. Tom Corbett, right, and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., second left, greet, Kathleen Kane, center, before she took her oath of office for Pennsylvania Attorney General at the state Capitol in Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, in Harrisburg, Pa. Kane is first woman and first Democrat to be elected Pennsylvania attorney general. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) AP

By the end of the very day Gov. Corbett announced details and defended his decision to contract with the British firm Camelot Global Services to manage the state lottery, top legislative Democrats formally asked Atty. Gen. Kathleen Kane to kibosh the contract.

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa sent a letter to Kane on Thursday claiming the contract violates state and federal law.

Kane has 30 days to review then approve or reject the contract.

In a letter to Kane, who took office Tuesday, the pair of Dems contend Corbett usurps the authority of the Legislature to expand gaming (part of Global's plan to increase lottery profits) which Dems contend is purely the purview of lawmakers under provisions of the 1971 lottery act and therefore "contrary to Pennsylvania law."

The letter also contends the contract violates federal law which states that "all significant business decisions" regarding state lotteries must be "conducted by a State acting under the authority of State law."

The Corbett administration has said it has legal authority to enter into the contract.

The two Dems also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a pending lawsuit seeking to dump the deal brought by the state workers' union AFSCME Council 13, some lottery employees and some other Democratic lawmakers.

The Guv says the contract is needed to expand the lottery and increase profits for the future because the state continues to age.

Kane's response, whatever it is, whenever it comes, sets her up for an early label.

As the current darling of statewide Democrats (first woman, first Dem elected to the post of AG) she can be cast as a partisan foe of Republican Corbett if she rejects the contract or a disappointment to partisan Dems if she okays it.

Such is life in the political arena. Welcome, Ms. Kane, to the show.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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