A recent story in the IDAHO REPORTER about the Pocatello Auditorium District using $20,000 in taxes to lobby on its own behalf exposes only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to government influencing government.
Perhaps the worst offender in the influence peddling game is the City of Boise. The city is awash in public relations staffers euphemistically titled “information specialists” along with “governmental affairs” people who all devote most of their efforts toward selling city policy, projects, and plans to the public or influencing state and federal representatives.
Recent Boise boondoggles include hiring or funding PR firms for the infamous “Desire Named Street Car,” support of a constitutional amendment to deprive voter approval public debt, various CCDC deals, signs to promote the F-35 fighter jet, a marketing survey which is used to show public support for budget decisions, and lobbyists in Washington and at the Statehouse.
We also have to mention the annual “Live Aid” fund raiser speech the mayor gives before the Chamber of Commerce that garners a gross of close to $40,000 for the private lobbying group that usually falls into line with the Team Dave on public issues before the legislature or congress.
Since the GUARDIAN is seldom supportive of such actions, Team Dave will not respond to any requests for comment or information. They force us to file cumbersome, time consuming and costly requests for public records. Perhaps if we hired a PR firm or lobbyist…
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