Tillis's budget: Big gambling losses

BlueNC already established that the NC House budget that relies on phantom revenues from the NC lottery is a great big gamble.

Today the Raleigh News & Observer reports that Tillis and his loon posse should have known that their lottery revenue estimates were bogus.

The House budget that won approval Friday overestimates how much lottery money the state is expected to receive, documents show, jeopardizing Republicans’ plan to increase teacher pay.

The N.C. Education Lottery warned legislative staffers that the House’s plan to boost lottery sales by doubling the advertising budget would generate only $59 million next year – far less than the $106 million designated in the budget.

So the folks at the lottery told the folks in the Jones Street House of Pain that they were nearly $50 million short, but the NC GOP, presumably following orders not to do anything to make Tillis look bad, rammed through their budget anyway, knowing it was a great big load of crap.

State Rep. Nelson Dollar, the lead House budget writer, would not say whether he saw the projection before the House vote.

Translation: State Rep. Nelson "Anything for a" Dollar saw the projection before the House vote and chose to cover it up because he realized it would cause his house of cards to fall.

But Nelson isn't the only one attempting a cover-up. Big-boy Pants Thom wants a cover-up too:

The lottery commission declined to discuss the analysis. A lottery spokesman said that an attorney for Speaker Thom Tillis asked the agency to first consult with the attorney general’s office to determine whether it qualified as confidential communication.

Tillis not only has a gambling problem, he has an honesty problem, an ethics problem, a budget problem, a revenue problem, a teacher problem and a problem with getting enough votes in the US Senate race.

Comments

Budgetgate

Approval of the House budget was built on a sham. In the first place, any reasonable person should have known that the projected lottery revenue increases were pulled out of thin air and not a reliable revenue source.

Furthermore, we now learn that House budget leaders surely must have known that even those pretend revenues were bogus, and now they're trying to cover up that fact.

Despite claims that this is a "sound" and "balanced" budget, it's clearly neither, and Tillis and others knew that.

Anyone who voted for this budget voted for a sham that was concocted mainly to make Tillis look good and score him some political points. So the seven Dems who voted for it should be especially ashamed.

As the Budgetgate investigation continues, we'll find out who knew what, and when they knew it.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Triad City Beat on Wos and the budget

Governor McCrony continues to sing the praises of Wos at a public event with healthcare lobbyists and downplays the $60 million shell game that Wos and Pope were trying to play with the budget.

This event came barely a day after Wos, Gov. Pat McCrory and State Budget Director Art Pope sent out an email acknowledging a new, rather large hole in the budget owing to a move by the federal government to block a state strategy to tap $60 million in additional funding.

That strategy and a similar one in Pennsylvania that was also shot down involved “assessing” Medicaid providers an additional $90 million to allow the state access to another $60 million in federal funding. After the federal funds are safely tucked away, the Medicaid providers would get the money they paid refunded.

It was yet another blow to DHHS and Pope, who in an understated but certain way laid the blame on advice of consultants hired by the department. You have to wonder if these were the same high-dollar consultants Wos defended last year saying they had saved the state millions.

Budgetgate continues: Dollar said "stay quiet"

Rep. Nelson Dollar, a leading House budget writer, and other officials were informed that their lottery revenue estimates were bogus before the budget was approved, and they executed a deliberate cover-up.

In an interview, Alice Garland, the lottery’s director since 2011, said she expressed concern about missing the target privately to a key House budget writer, state Rep. Nelson Dollar, before the House adopted its spending plan – and that documents were provided to key officials.

She said she was told by Dollar to stay quiet about it.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Someone's lying

She said, he said.

She:

In an interview, Alice Garland, the lottery’s director since 2011, said she expressed concern about missing the target privately to a key House budget writer, state Rep. Nelson Dollar, before the House adopted its spending plan – and that documents were provided to key officials.

She said she was told by Dollar to stay quiet about it.

He:

Dollar, a Wake County Republican, said in an interview that he did not say anything to Garland after she expressed concerns to him last week. He said he believes the lottery can reach the target set by the House and that he acted without seeing anything “in writing” that gave him reason to revise the target.

Seems pretty obvious to us which one is more likely telling the truth.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

She should learn ...

... what anyone dealing with a psychotic manager understands. Put everything in writing.