Tuesday, October 25, 2005


(CBS) WASHINGTON On a whim, U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg pulled into a gas station in Washington this week and bought $20 worth of Powerball tickets. As he was leaving, a clerk ran after him because he had left one of the tickets behind.

"She was a very pleasant young woman; she might have kept it and for all I know it might have been the winning ticket," he said in a telephone news conference.

Gregg collected a check for $853,492 from the Powerball Lottery on Thursday.

According to his latest financial disclosure form, Gregg has between $1.5 million and $6.2 million in stocks and other major investments.

What will he do with the lottery money?

"Whatever my wife tells me what to do with it?" he joked, saying he would turn a portion of the winnings over to the Hugh Gregg Foundation, which supports New Hampshire charities and is named after Gregg's late father, a former governor of New Hampshire....


I'd like to know what Judd Gregg was doing when he stopped to play powerball. Let's take him at his word and assume that he had stopped to buy gas as well as 20 lottery tickets, and that the need for his trip was not simple greed. What important state business had he been conducting and where was he going? Was he busy thinking up ways to help his constituents?

It is astonishing to me that he went out of his way to praise the gas-station clerk who chased after him with one of his tickets, yet he has volunteered to give her NOTHING. What an apt little parable about the generous impulses of our Republican legislators: "I've got mine Jack."

I called his office last week and asked if he planned to give any money to the clerk who chased after him with his forgotten ticket. I was told his press spokesperson was busy and I was connected to her voicemail. "If I do not get a call back" I said in my message, "I will assume the Senator is not planning to give any money to the clerk." I never got a return call.

The larger question is what portion of the money will he "turn over" to his own foundation and why is a man of his wealth not giving the money to, say, help ill-equipped national guardsmen in Iraq?

Following is a letter that appeared in the Concord Monitor today:

The creepy image of millionaire Sen. Judd Gregg starting his day by poring through the newspaper to find his winning numbers is bad enough. To make it worse, picture New Hampshire's own Ichabod Crane trotting over to fulfill his senatorial duties by voting nay that very same day on the Senate amendment to provide for appropriations for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.


Henniker Monitor