Benjamin Barr

Red Carpet Treatment

Posted on January 30, 2007 | Author: Benjamin Barr
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The Oscars are still a month away, so here are a few awards to tide you over. Drum roll, please.­ The winners of the Golden Turkey Award for taxpayer-funded lobbying are the Department of Transportation, Maricopa County, and the City of Tucson.­ In Arizona, these three government bodies are the top-spenders of tax dollars on lobbyists.­ And while they may be winners of the Golden Turkey Award, the losers are Arizona taxpayers.­

Theres no doubt about it, taxpayer-funded lobbying is a growth industry.­ For example, the Biomedical Research Commission increased its lobbying expenses ten-fold from 2000 to 2005. And the three state universities increased their reported lobbying expenditures more 125 percent during that time.­

As more and more taxpayer-funded lobbyists roam the capitol, the voice of the average citizen becomes harder and harder to hear. Government lobbyists now outnumber legislators ten to one.­­

Lawmakers should revoke the backstage passes that government lobbyists have been given and prohibit lobbying with taxpayer dollars.­

Benjamin Barr is the constitutional policy analyst at the Goldwater Institute.

Key Links:

-Goldwater Institute: Your Tax Dollars at Work:­ The Implications of Taxpayer-funded Lobbying­
-Insider Online: Taxpayer-funded Lobbying:­ Taxman vs. Taxpayer­
-Americans for Prosperity: Taxpayer Funded Lobbying:­ A National Problem­­­­

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