Does Blagojevich’s Wrongdoing Extend to State Lottery?

December 22, 2008

State-run lotteries are an example of poor tax policy, but they nonetheless enjoy widespread support among legislators, voters, and consumers. One of the reasons supporters use to justify the government monopoly on lotteries is that government oversight supposedly decreases lottery-related crime.

We have addressed the problems with this argument before (here and here), and recently we’ve seen yet another example of (alleged, so far) impropriety related to state-run lotteries:

From the Washington Post:

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) told federal investigators that Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked for a $25,000 campaign contribution during Blagojevich’s 2002 run for governor and may have exacted retribution when the money did not arrive, a political source close to Jackson said Tuesday.

After Blagojevich (D) won, he considered and rejected Jackson’s wife, Sandi, for the job of state lottery director, the source said.

Later, the governor saw Rep. Jackson at an event in Washington and, according to the source, told him he bet Jackson regretted not paying up.

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