2009-05-21 / Local & State

Pa. Gov Reports Slots Winnings After Paper Asks

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell can raise campaign cash like no one else in Pennsylvania. Apparently, he's pretty good at getting money from slot machines, too.

Rendell won $2,000 from the slots at Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack last year, but he did not report it to the State Ethics Commission until after The Philadelphia Inquirer questioned him about it, the newspaper reported.

On Thursday, the governor updated his financial interests statement for 2008 on file with the commission to reflect the winnings.

Rendell's press secretary, Chuck Ardo, said the governor was not trying to hide anything. Instead, he said the omission was simply a "clerical oversight'' by aides who helped fill out the original form, which was due May 1.

The Inquirer discovered the winnings after viewing a copy of the governor's federal tax return it had requested from Rendell.

Rendell told the Inquirer he won the money after he delivered a speech to the Chester chapter of the NAACP at the slots parlor. He bought gift certificates at Harrah's steakhouse for each of the two members of his state police security detail and took the rest home to his wife.

"I never saw a dime. My two troopers got $100 gift certificates, Midge got a little shopping money, and Uncle Sam got the rest,'' Rendell told the newspaper for Sunday's editions.

Rendell, who pushed to legalize Pennsylvania's lucrative slots casinos in 2004 as a way to provide tax cuts, did admit to worrying initially about the public

reaction and rumors that would

7/31/follow the disclosure about his slots winnings.

"It's going to look like Harrah's did something for me, or they rigged the machines for me,'' Rendell said. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, we are in trouble.'''

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