Friday, May 26, 2006

The Lottery Gambit

I can’t remember what blog I read it on (and I’m too lazy to go back and look) but it was suggested that Governor Blagojevich’s call for privatizing the Illinois lottery may be little more than a political head-fake. I’ve been thinking about it and I think that might be right.

The theory goes something like this: Blagojevich proposes the lottery privatization to raise money for education. This results in State Sen. James Meeks, who was threatening to run for governor unless something was done about education in the state, deciding not to run for governor. (Meeks’ run could have endangered Blagojevich’s re-election hopes by siphoning off enough votes to allow Judy Baar Topinka to win.) With Meeks out of the race, the lottery privatization plan dies in the Illinois Legislature. Blago gets re-elected, the lottery stays where it is and the world stays the same.

If that’s what’s going on it’s politically brilliant -and very cynical.

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