Monday, February 28, 2005

Spending Outrage

Something caught my eye in an article in today's Star about gambling interests and their lobbying efforts.

Did you know that the City of Indianapolis spends tax money on lobbying? In fact, the City ranks #4 so far this legislative session, according to the Star.

This is good journalism, but the issue of the City's lobbying must be raised. It is important to track the various interests who try to influence the laws the citizens of this state will be subject to. The City of Indianapolis ranked in spending ahead of AT&T, the Indiana Trial Lawyers, and Trump Casinos even.

I expect gambling interests to spend big money in the hopes of influencing legislation. While the morality and ethics of lobbying and its effects are subject to debate, nobody can question the fact that it's their money to spend. In the case of the City's lobbying efforts, tax dollars are being spent.

This is a moral outrage, and an indictment on the priorities set by the Mayor. Given the chance, the people would never vote to have tax dollars spent on lobbying. The Mayor struggled for months to find the money for the Police, but could squander six figures on lobbying for a stadium.

If the Mayor wants to secure his legacy with the help of the legislature, he should spend his own money. Tax dollars should be used for funding safety forces, sewers that work, and other proper functions of government.

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