Local News

Big Names Join the Fight Against a State Lottery

Posted March 12, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Gov. Mike Easley believes that North Carolina could improve educational programs with lottery earnings, but the governor and lottery supporters are going up against powerful people who disagree.

Seventy-five influential political, business and church leaders, including the Rev. Billy Graham and former Govs. Bob Scott, Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin, have formed a coalition to oppose the lottery. Former UNC System President Dr. William Friday leads the charge.

"It's an unstable source of income, which eventually requires the state to engage in misleading advertising and creating false hopes," Friday said.

The coalition prefers to attack the lottery while it is still a proposal, rather than fighting for its defeat at the polls, should legislators leave it up to the voters to decide.

"We are united in our common goal to keep gambling interests out of North Carolina and to keep gambling money out of North Carolina politics," said Chuck Neely with Citizens United Against the Lottery.

Neely says a lot of energy in the campaign come from churches.