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Greensboro - Over 150 people showed up for a Lottery Summit at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina, to listen to two respective panels of economic and social experts talk about how the Lottery, if implemented, would impact the people and communities of North Carolina.
NC CSE Foundation pulled together notable experts such as Dan Gerlach of the Tax and Budget Center, Chris Fitzsimon of the Commonsense Foundation, Don Carrington of the John Locke Foundation, Dr. Charles Clotfelter of Duke University, Bill Brooks of the Family Policy Council, Reverend Coy Privette of the Christian Action League, and Reverend Tom Grey of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. But no one who supports the Lottery had the courage to show up at the event to debate its benefits although NC CSE Foundation staff made numerous requests for a pro-lottery spokesman.
One panel member after another talked about how the lottery is just unsound public policy and is a predatory tax on the poor. The discussions were spirited and sometimes heated, but the message was clear-the lottery is not the panacea they say it is and the people needed to know what they were in for! Chris Fitzsimon of the Commonsense Foundation a liberal think tank and a strong opponent of the Lottery said it plainly, "(The Governor) can’t find the political courage to find the money anywhere else, so he’s going to do what politicians always do-he’s going to target the poor folks."
The Lottery Summit luncheon included as keynote speaker, Alabama Lt. Gov. Steve Windom, who talked about how Alabama beat the lottery and the luncheon’s master of ceremony was Mike Fenley of WSJS Radio in Winston-Salem.
NC CSE Foundation has joined another group of concerned business leaders who are speaking out on the Lottery. This anti-lottery group is led by former state representative Chuck Neely. His group includes prominent community leaders like Bank of America CEO, Hugh McColl; First Union Bank CEO, Ed Crutchfield and university leaders such as C. D. Spangler and Bill Friday. The most notable of this group is the Reverend Billy Graham.
News about the Summit went out to over 100 radio stations through the North Carolina News Network with WSJS Radio Talk Show Host Mike Fenley, who was the master of ceremony of the Lottery Summit Luncheon, donated one of his two-hour shows to the discussion of the lottery and the summit. Articles about the summit were printed in newspapers across North Carolina. Video copies of the event as well as audio tapes will be distributed throughout the state to keep the people informed about this critical issue.