By Kevin Flynn
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Additional resources for American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds, and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age
He crisscrossed the state. ” King walked 36 Place Your Bets with the crowd and didn’t lose the common touch. He had a strong ground game and glad-handed at every late summer and autumn fair, meeting as many tourists as he did voters. “No town is too small” in which to campaign, he told This Week magazine. Democratic leaders, including Larry Pickett, said King was more than just their sacrificial lamb. They understood that King was formidable because few others in the General Court were as critical of incumbent Republican governor Wesley Powell.
He wasn’t one of those white-haired politicians they had grown up with. He seemed like a leader with vigor, a war hero. He had a beautiful wife and a young family. This period wasn’t just a changing of the old guard. Kennedy ushered in a new self-image for Americans, filled with confidence and bravado. Historians and political science majors may forever debate the actual substance of the Kennedy administration, but in living rooms and kitchens around the nation the style was the substance. Even in New Hampshire, which had been a red state long before that term came into use and which voted for Richard Nixon (though Kennedy lost by fewer than 20,000 votes), the optimism of Kennedy rubbed off.
The measure also permitted referendum votes every two years in perpetuity. If towns had second thoughts about their participation in the Sweeps, they had a way to escape. The effort seemed moot. Defeat of the bill by the Republican-controlled Senate was all but assured. The GOP outnumbered Democrats fifteen to nine in the twenty-four-member chamber. The majority whip said some senators were still wavering on fears that killing the sweepstakes would guarantee a sales tax to raise money, but it appeared HB 47 would receive only ten or eleven votes.
American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds, and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age by Kevin Flynn