Yesterday Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane rejected Tom Corbett's effort in privatizing the management of the Pennsylvania state lottery, to British firm name Camelot which operates the United Kingdom lottery system. Under that contract, Camelot would manage the lottery, which last fiscal year recorded more than $3.5 billion in sales and more than $1 billion in profit that went toward programs that benefit senior citizens.
The full statement can be seen here
The attorney general described the conclusions of her office that the 20-year management agreement with Camelot Global Services PA LLC is an "unlawful extension of executive authority" that infringes on the power of the General Assembly to make basic policy decisions. She said also state law governing the lottery does not authorize the development of monitor-based games, such as keno. And she said a provision for the compensation of indirect expenses by Camelot is too open and undefined to be allowed under the state Constitution. Gov. Corbett reacts to rejection of lottery contract
Gov. Tom Corbett reacts to Attorney General Kathleen Kane's rejection of the Pennsylvania lottery contract. Camelot, which operates the United Kingdom lottery, pledged to bring in more than $34 billion in profits over a 20-year management contract, in part by introducing online ticket sales and keno.
In addition to Kane’s disapproval of the contract as a whole, specific components are also under scrutiny, such as the provision for compensation of indirect expenses by Camelot, which is not permissible under the state constitution. A portion of the expected $34 billion consists of expected profits from monitor-based games, the development of which is not authorized by current state law.In a move to side step the legislature because Pennsylvania Dems made significant gains in the General Assembly, Gov. Corbett decided to privatize the states lottery system, in which 170 of their employees belong to AFSCME, wanted to stick it to state employees by claiming “My job is to protect Pennsylvania’s seniors, and we will continue to do that”.
On constitutional grounds Kane gave three reasons why she rejected the contact, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"usurps the power of the Gaming Control Board's to regulate expanded gaming."The one gray spot was after the press conference, Kane didn't take any questions after giving out her full legal analysis and explanation. As expected her decision yesterday received praised from the left, and criticized from the right.
"We review approximately 5,000 contracts a year, and while most are approved, we not rubber stamp any one of them," Kane said, as cameras clicked away as she read her statement.
"We reviewed this contract with great care and with a focus on the law," the attorney general said of the lottery privatization agreement. "The proposed contract contravenes the Pennsylvania constitution and is not statutorily authorized."
State Treasurer and potential gubernatorial candidate Robert McCord had threatened not to pay bills incurred by Camelot if the contract had been executed until he was convinced the contract was legal. Went on to say to say:
“The administration was repeatedly warned, as early as last year, that the proposed contract would permit new forms of gambling not currently authorized by the Legislature and not regulated by the Gaming Control Board.Auditor General Eugene DePasquale:
“Expanding the lottery is a policy decision that should include the General Assembly, not be done through a closed-door contracting process. Beyond the legal issues, this proposal also raised serious questions about how best to serve seniors efficiently with the programs that the lottery pays for.”
"Kane and her team of lawyers made the right decision after identifying the legal flaws in the contract that would have led to an unprecedented expansion of gambling without legislative and public input."Kane went on to also received praise from Democratic state legislator, but on the other hand the state GOP calling her actions "Blatantly political", and putting "union bosses and Harrisburg Democrats" ahead of opportunities for seniors.
There is going to be more to come as the newly elect Attorney General will have more fights with the Governor. Because Corbett is despised in Pennsylvania, Kane used that to her credit, running on a anti-Corbett platform, especially due to his handling on the Sandusky cases, among other things led to her victory in November. Clearly Corbett has been irked by that, and the two already have a tense relationship going back to the general election, with Kane only being Attorney General for a month. It doesn't look like Kane is going let up and he's in for a rough two years leading up to a very tough re-election in 2014. In which last week has gotten worst with Allyson Schwartz sending deputy staff around the state, letting the Dem politicos in the state know about her intentions in 2014. Pennsylvania Republicans are not just endanger of losing the Governorship, but they are also endanger of the both legislative chambers. Given that they've passed anti-reproductive rights laws, infringing in women personal lives in Pennsylvania, don't be surprise if you see this on TV in Pennsylvania in 2014.
Allyson Schwartz is very progressive, but most of all is a money juggernaut who can raise money like ease. The two statewide Republican that are fearful of a Schwartz candidacy is Tom Corbett, and Sen. Pat Toomey who squeaked by Joe Sestak in the perfect red storm you can imagine of 2010. Unfortunately for Corbett it looks like Schwartz has him in sights. Leaving Toomey to breathe a sigh of relief for now. Because of her ability to match him in fund raising, but Toomey shouldn't rest easy. A 2016 will be a presidential year (Dem-favoring, and higher turnout). A Hillary Clinton for President (Clinton name is enormously popular in Pennsylvania), and a Schwartz for Senate ticket is a nightmare scenario for Toomey, who will be a top Dem target regardless of his opponent. If Kane proves to be a successful AG, which I believe she will, Toomey is in for a tough challenge for, her family is wealthy, due to her husband, and can raise money just as well as Toomey and Schwartz.
The next couple of years will be very interesting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.