May 11, 2009, 6:40 am
True or not, it doesn't really matter
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons might not remember it, but the record shows he has flip-flopped on the issue of a state lottery.
Gibbons told a town hall audience in Minden last week, "I have no problem with a lottery." As they have for decades, lawmakers are again considering creating a state lottery in Nevada.
Asked about his stance in an interview, Gibbons said, "I never have" opposed a lottery. "When did you hear that?"
Gibbons' previous opposition is in a news release issued by his office on March 26, 2007. "Governor Jim Gibbons today released this statement outlining his opposition to amending the Nevada Constitution to allow for a state lottery," it begins.
The full statement attributed to the governor in the 2007 release:
"I respect recent efforts by some legislators to explore options for new revenue to the State; however, I do not believe it is a proper function of Nevada government to operate a lottery, nor do I think that the State should be in competition with its largest industry.
"Notwithstanding my philosophical concerns, the fact is that the State is not likely to generate additional revenues with a lottery. Instead, it would simply shift the tax burden from one source to another. Furthermore, as the National Gambling Impact Study Commission stated in its recommendation to state, local and tribal governments, 'lotteries ... do not create a concentration of good quality jobs and do not generate significant economic development.'
"Elsewhere, lotteries have proven to be costly and bureaucratic, something I do not believe our citizens want more of in Nevada. I will not, therefore, support any legislation that includes the establishment of a lottery in Nevada."
So it seems Gibbons' position has changed in the last two years. But as he correctly pointed out, it doesn't really matter.
If the Legislature passes the current lottery proposal, Gibbons wouldn't be called upon to sign it. Instead, the next Legislature would also have to pass the measure, and then it would go to a vote of the people to amend the state constitution.
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