High Dollar Lottery Executives Hired

Not one lottery ticket has been sold, but a bunch of people are getting rich off of the Arkansas Lottery just the same.

Arkansas Lottery Commission Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue says David Barden, South Carolina Lottery official, has accepted an offer to serve as the lottery’s vice president of gambling operations. Barden will be paid $225,000 annually. Passailaigue earlier hired another South Carolina Lottery official, Ernestine Middleton, as the Arkansas Lottery’s vice president of administration. Middleton, who started work Thursday, also will be paid $225,000 a year. (more…)

Cigarette Tax: A Dwindling Revenue Stream

“No taxation without representation!”   Well, taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.

Associated Press reported yesterday afternoon that lots of Arkansans are kicking the smoking habit.  This is great news for everyone except the folks who are lined up at the public trough for a share of the $80 million per year cigarette tax. Billed as a tax for a state-wide trauma system and medical school for northwest Arkansas, Gov. Beebe and his friends saw to it that at least $50 million per year would be spent on what some would call “pork” to expand a number of other government programs and services.