Can You Believe It?

The Lotto Report, a bi-weekly publication since 1993, was "suspended"
from receiving lottery information and Linda Cloud upheld the decision

There are 3 VIP "click here's" on this page -
Two are the letters I wrote (PDF files) and the
other is the recorded message Keith Elkins
left on my phone recorder. Be sure and
click on them - it is the only way you can
get the whole story.

Comments - E-mail Us - Click here
Comments for the TLC, Newspapers, Politicians? Click here.

Posted Oct. 9, 2000
Revised Feb, 9, 2001

Here's The Story

(Follow-up - Feb. 8, 2001 - The Commissioners finally heard testimony
regarding this matter. Now you can read both sides at once.
Just click here)

On July 11, 2000 I received the following fax from the TLC:

"Fax Information -- Changes

To Whom It May Concern:

Effective immediately, all lottery information you have previously been
receiving from the Texas Lottery Commission, Communication Division
is being suspended.

The Communications Division provides information directly to news organizations
that fit the following criteria:

active members of a statewide Press Association or Broadcasters Association and/or

currently listed in The 2000 Texas Media Directory, and

subscribe to the professional Code of Ethics of the Society for Professional Journalists

If you would like to continue receiving lottery information, you may submit
your request to Ms. Lucy Cantu, Open Records Coordinator of the Texas
Lottery Commission. Ms. Cantu's direct phone number is 512-344-5420.

Keith Elkins
Communications Director

Just so that you know what information I received by "fax" since 1993
from the Communications Departments - it was:

When Ms. Cloud first became Director, one of her first tasks was to reduce expenses.
I was cut from their list back then too, but was reinstated within days. So, here's
what I did this time when I got Keith's fax.

First, I contacted the 2000 Texas Media Directory to give them my information so
I could be included in their directory. The publisher was already familiar with my
work and told me that I would definitely be included in their next publication
which would be out in October 2000.

Ironically, the week before receiving Keith's message, I had already completed
an application for membership to the Society for Professional Journalists. This was
necessary for another project I was working on.

Next, I left Keith a phone message on July 12th advising him that I did meet
his criteria in two areas. He left me a message that when he gets proof, he will
reconsider. We spoke later that day and he advised me that I was not the only person
that had been suspended from receiving their faxes. He explained that they were cutting
expenses and that I could still get the information through Open Records or from their
web site. I wondered if they told all other media's to get their
information from the TLC web site too.

Anyway, on Tuesday, July 18, I sent Keith an email with proof of my
membership to the Society for Professional Journalists and told him that I
would be listed in the next 2000 Texas Media Directory. I assumed I would
be reinstated but I heard nothing from Keith so I called again.

It wasn't until Friday, July 21, at 4:45 PM, that Keith returned my call. I was surprised
because I had been told earlier that day that he would not be in until Monday. I was
away from my desk when he called but he left this message on my recorder. To hear
his message, just click here. (This is a "wav file." It takes several minutes to
download depending upon your modem and connection speed - very high quality.)

Or click here
(This one is an "mp3 file" - it's considerably smaller and
takes less time to download - you just need an MP3 player on your computer -
the newest Windows media player will play this file.)

As you heard, his message was so long that my recorder cut him off.
Sorry. Anyway, after hearing his message, I called him back and there was a heated
exchange of words. So, now we all know, Mr. Elkins is not only the Communications
Director, but he is the "judge" and the "jury" too. In our phone conversation, he still refused
to reinstate my faxes - he went so far as to tell me that even if the National Enquirer asked
for TLC press releases, he would not fax to them either! So I did the only thing I could do,
I wrote him a letter. But he never answered my letter (bad business) so after 30 days, I
wrote Linda Cloud. To read the letter I wrote to Keith, click here. Then, to read the
letter I wrote to Linda Cloud, click here. Be sure and read
these letters - They tell the whole story.

Finally, in a letter to me dated September 18, 2000, Linda Cloud
finally responsed to my letter. It said:

"I received your August 24 letter. After careful review, however, I stand
by the agency's decision to have you receive the information you have requested
from our Open Records Coordinator, Ms. Lucy Cantu. I am also unaware of
any information that you are being discriminated against by the Texas
Lottery Commission. Likewise, I am unaware of any information that the
change in distribution policy was implemented with any intention of creating
hardships or maliciously trying to prevent you or anyone else, similarly situated,
from receiving timely information. Sincerely, Linda Cloud."

Isn't this something? Keith says I do not practice "professional journalism."
I wonder what they think they practice? If you want to do something to help me and
to help the people of Texas, write the Attorney General, Governor Bush,
Lt. Governor Rick Perry and your newspaper about all of the things I've got
posted - not just my loss of faxes - but everything. Maybe Keith's
message will make you so mad you'll do something.

Oh, if you want to hear Keith's radio comment about the $1.9 million
overpayment to the $40 million jackpot winners, just click here.
What you hear on this tape is his anger.

Comments - E-mail Us - Click here
Comments for the TLC, Newspapers, Politicians? Click here.

The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 686-1188 (Fax)