Weekend wound up

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Tom Shaheen, director of the North Carolina Exploitation Lottery, proves again today that he's just another guy slopping at the public trough:

And it turns out that the staff at the lottery commission will receive a five percent raise next fiscal year, well above the likely increase for most state employees. Lottery Director Tom Shaheen says that state workers who want more money should apply at the lottery commission. He is the quite the team player.

He also says that the raises are necessary to keep good employees. Wonder why that doesn't apply to the health techs in mental hospitals or probation and parole officers or a host of other state workers that provide services everyday?

Doesn't it feel good to know funding for North Carolina's educational system rests in such capable hands?

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Updated in honor of no name calling


5%. That is high.

especially when the state can't seem to find enough money to fully fund actual education programs, like More at Four or Smart Start. For goodness sake, Gov. Easley wanted to only take 1100 children off the child care subsidy waiting list. There are currently about 29,000 children on that list. The House appropriations committee put a little more $$ in for subsidy, they want to take 10,000 children off the list. But that still leaves 19,000 children waiting for child care.

I'm not saying that the Lottery employees aren't good employees, but it's kind of a slap in the face of all the people actually working to educate and care for children. I don't understand this reasoning at all.

On the other hand - as a director, if I could afford to give my employees 5% raises, I would do it. Here's a question to ask: Have the employees affected by those raises had increases within the last 24 months? If, like mine, they have not, then it might be more reasonable to see a 5% increase, as it works out to 2.5% per year. I don't know if that's the case.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Good questions, Linda

And they're the kind of questions (plus a few others) that anyone should ask before posting to the effect that the proposal is meritless and that so and so is an a-hole.

The lottery employees do not have the same benefits package that other state employees have. This is part of the problem the Commission has with recruiting. If they aren't going to offer the same benefits package, they have to offer more money.

But hell no, let's just fire accusations, call names and ask questions later. Feels good to be self-righteous, don't it? Ignorance is part of the bliss.

Or one might actually follow the damn link and discover

that this story isn't just about the 5% raise for lottery employees. One might actually find that the whole lottery budgeting scheme is a stinking shell game cobbled together to give political cover to whomever wants it. The lottery is a blight on North Carolina. I'm glad they have recruiting challenges because the people who work for and promote the lottery are part of the problem.

That said, I edited my post to delete "arrogant a$$hole" in favor or "just another guy slopping at the public trough."


PS I sure do like you a lot better when you leave me alone.

Sorry you feel persecuted (as usual)

But you did make some nasty remarks without having the full story. You kind of asked for getting a bit of what you dished out back by spouting off without really understanding the rationale behind Sheehan's request.

So you can try to switch it off now to being indignant over the way the lottery came into being, but that's not the point you started off with, so deal with it. I can't help it if you can't admit you went off half-cocked.

I don't know what your liking me "better" means these days, since my best take would be that ya don't like me a'tall, so my popularity or lack thereof is not uppermost in my mind when I post. I keep thinking the threads and comments are supposed to be about issues instead of egos.

Oh James, that's hardly fair.

The lottery is a blight on North Carolina. I'm glad they have recruiting challenges because the people who work for and promote the lottery are part of the problem.

All of the people? Really? The administrative assistants, the people who answer the phone - all of them? Damn. I don't think I'll leave you alone on this one.

I agree that the lottery is a lousy way to budget for anything. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "Don't leave education up to chance." I don't like the way it's been handled.

That said, I don't think attacking the people who work in legitimate jobs is the way to get it changed. The way the budget was written is irresponsible and ridiculous - but those folks who are sweeping up the trash in the offices and filing complaints from the good citizens of NC have nothing to do with that. They are not a "part of the problem." I suspect that most of the people who work for the lottery are just doing their job, trying to get by.

Go after the policy, not the people.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I'm sure everyone working on

I'm sure everyone working on the lottery, from $haheen on down, are just "doing their jobs." And you're absolutely right, they're legal jobs, fully endorsed and created by North Carolina's government. A pretty sorry state of affairs all around.

If no one went to work at the Exploitation Lottery, we wouldn't have the damn thing.

Of course!

And if no one went to work for the Bush Administration, we wouldn't have had that damn thing either. But I would submit to you that it is more effective to attack the program and the problems within it than the people - especially the underlings in the program who can't affect (or should I say impact) the policies or program standards.

The problems with the lottery are that it has not delivered the promised revenue to support the programs that are coming to rely on its funding, the expected revenue increases have been used to replace actual necessary increases in the state budget, and there is a perception in some circles that the lottery is a regressive "tax" on the poor, even though it is a voluntary program. Add that to the apparent poor budgeting practices reported on by Fitzsimmons, and I see some management issues.

However, I don't see any reason to attack the rank and file employees at the lottery department. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

This ain't right

I worked as a convenience store clerk throughout college, and work was much better before the lottery.
Honestly, I thought this (lottery) would be great for education and welcomed it.
But it made my job MUCH more difficult-machines that would jam lotto tickets, machines that would not read bar codes correctly, patrons that would hand you 20+ tickets (half were actually winners) to redeem, patrons who would ask me the details of the games (as if that was my job-to explain the lottery game rules), BUT
the worse was the fact that I had to pay for patrons mistakes by being forced to buy their tickets just because they filled the forms wrong before I scanned them (I never won the lottery though).
Its a nightmare for those poor bastards on the other side of the counter, with no mandated pay raise.
Our lottery Rep. would show up now and then, with those cool posters.
Talking with the Rep. I found they got their job because they were a top salesman with Hendrick Automotive.
sounds like they will be doing better after this pay increase...good for them. Maybe one day they will pay for drive-offs


Wow. That's great. The "official" rate of inflation is around 4%, so these folks are apparently keeping up.

But if you back out the funny math the BLS has been adding to CPI over the past 20 years, inflation (assuming a constant standard of living) is much higher -- around 11%.

Maybe the lottery should change its mission -- let's sell our lottery tickets ONLY in other states, and divert all profits to raises for state employees. Then we'd have something that's a net benefit to North Carolina.


William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District