Saturday, November 25, 2006

$8.6 million

This is more Ben Cunningham's area but as a mom on a budget I can't help but shake my head in amazement. As a taxpayer I wonder why we don't keep this money closer to home in the first place. Surely, everyone understands that every hand that this money passes through is sticky.

Tennessee taxpayers have spent more than $8.6 million in the past three years for local governments to lobby state and federal officials, according to a report by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Public bodies and groups representing them, such as the Tennessee County Services Association, spent between $2.7 million and $3.1 million to lobby state officials from 2003 to 2005. (snip)

Steve Ellis, a vice president with the Washington-based Taxpayers for Common Sense, said such spending primarily benefits lobbyists.

"It's troubling that cities, counties and other local governments in Tennessee are spending millions of local taxpayer dollars to try to bring back hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars," he said.

From the Times-Gazette

And from the Chattanooga Free Press:

Reports provided to the Times Free Press show lobbying expenses by Tennessee public bodies in Nashville rose by 16 percent, from 2003 to 2005 — from $827,000 to nearly $963,000. The amounts spent to lobby state lawmakers varied widely.

Rose by 16%. That's a million dollars some Nashville teachers could have put to really good use.

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