AEA poll shows 60 percent will vote in favor of lottery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

A sidebar to the on-going lottery debate. Proponents of the lottery have said in speeches and on TV that $446 million in Georgia tickets have been bought by Alabamians since that state launched its lottery.

Keepthat money at home, has been their persuasive argument.

But the claim begs the question: Where did that number come from? When a person buys a lottery ticket he gives neither his name or address. That being so, how do they know how many Georgia lottery tickets have been bought by Alabamians?

Email newsletter signup

Rick Dent, one of the key players in the pro-lottery campaign, takes credit (or blame) for the number being used.

When a person wins a jackpot of $500 or more in the Georgia lottery he/she must give their name and address to claim the prize money. Approximatley six per cent of these winners have been Alabama residents. Dent says this leads to the obvious conclusion that six per cent of the ticket buyers are Alabamians. If so, that comes up to the $446 million figure being used.

On the same subject, yet another poll…this one done by the AEA's polling arm…shows the lottery winning by a 60-40 landslide. Perhaps most telling in this survey was that it showed that only a handful of Alabamians (about 17 per cent) think the lottery is immoral or sinful.

If that is accurate then the religious groups opposing the lottery may be butting their heads against the wall.

U. S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, had the White House running for cover last week when he and two congressional colleagues raised serious questions about the overseas travel expenses run up by the Clinton Administration.

A stunning example: The publicized trip President and Mrs. Clinton made to Africa a few months ago…accompanied by more than 1,300 other people…cost the taxpayers a staggering $37.7 million. That is not a typographical error: $37.7 million.

If my math is correct, that figures out to more than $25,000 per person. That gives new meaning to traveling first class.

The highlight of the trip was Clinton's apology to Africans for slavery. Opined one congressman: "That's an awful high price tag to pay for an apology."

Speaking of money, surely you didn't miss the story that came out of a meeting of the board of trustees of Alabama State University in Montgomery last week.

Because of a money crunch, the ASU board was faced with the decision to abolish a dropout prevention program at ASU. Trustee Lanny Vines of Birmingham, a hugely successful trial lawyer, convinced the program was vital, took matters into his own hands.

He pulled out his checkbook and wrote a personal check in the amount of $121,372 to keep the program going.

Marsha Folsom, Alabama's one-time First Lady (she's the wife of former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr.) has made it official: She will toss her bonnet into the political ring in 2000.

Mrs. Folsom of Cullman has announced her candidacy for Congress from Alabama's 4th District. The seat is presently held by Republican Congressman Robert Aderholt. If elected she would be the first woman ever elected to Congress from Alabama.

Mrs. Folsom comes by her interest in politics naturally. Not only has her husband had a long career in public office but her father, John Guthrie, is a former member of the Alabama legislature.