Monday, February 12, 2007

An article in today's Lufkin Daily News is about Lufkin's new lobbyist.

The article provides a series of pros and cons about this, and that brings up an interesting part of the problem with taxpayer-funded lobbying.

The pro-taxpayer-funded lobbying soundbites come from the lobbyist. He is someone who is paid to spin and positively represent his side. In fact, he was paid by the taxpayers of Lufkin to explain to this reporter why it's a good idea for the city to pay someone like him the big bucks.

Meanwhile, the other side, if it's lucky, has at best one or two reasonably articulate spokespeople to represent the "con" side. In this case, the "con" spokesperson is Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity--a group that raises all its money from willing donors, versus Lufkin's lobbyist, some of whose "donors" are not glad about how their money is being spent.

The Hutchinson News, from Hutchinson, Kansas, quotes a taxpayer there who is struggling against taxpayer-funded lobbying in his state:

"If you can't level the playing field, at least don't make me pay the other team's salary," Flaherty said.


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