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WASTE WATCH: Taxpayer Lobbyists

Updated: Thursday, December 12 2013, 11:02 PM CST
When you think of lobbying, you probably envision a private company hiring lobbyists.

 But, there's something known as intergovernmental lobbying--- where city governments  actually hire lobbyists to sway votes in state and federal governments.
   It's going on right here in tennessee and you're paying for it.

Nat: 12:13:03  gavel.. (if we can get the buzz out) 

   Every year, nearly 250 lobbyists are paid to influence policy on Tennessee's Capitol Hill.

Nat:  her opening car door..

    Joycelin Blackmun  had no idea she's paying for some of them.

Sot:  joycelin blackmun / franklin
3:52:32 it seems like a waste.. laughs..

   Luke Newman too thought lobbyists just worked for big business~

Luke Newman   3:43:48 Different corporations and companies.

    Nat:  legislature clapping 12:26:09

 But taxpayer funded lobbying, also known as intergovernmental lobbying, is gaining ground in Tennessee.

Right now, the cities of Franklin and Brentwood just voted to jointly hire a lobbyist with taxpayer money and split the annual cost of (cha ching sound effect)  (bring text on screen $35,000  Label it   Cost of Lobbyist  ) of $35 thousand dollars.    That's almost as much as what the average Tennessean makes in an entire year--- a little more than   (bring text on screen $42,764  label it   TN Median Income ) $42 thousand. (07-30-12 maggart rogers-- show only maggart ) Their new lobbyist is Debra Maggart, former state representative & Republican caucus chair. 

Sot:  2:50:05 they'll help us get our voice heard

   Eric Stuckey.. Franklin's city administrator says, without someone on the hill during the legislative session,  his city misses too many potential bills.
**2:51:59 it's a realtively small amount that we think will help us be heard more effectively..  you look at the potential cost of one issue on impacting the community many many times over what we might spend in a year or 2 or 3 in getting these services

(use district map and zoom into brentwood & franklin I emailed it to you) (bring pics on screen of sargent, casada, johnson & durham-- bring on one at a time in a montage like-- I emailed them to you  )   But some say this area is already well represented by those elected to do so.

 joycelin blackmun / franklin with our reps we have there already,  why would you have to go outside to get somebody to get your point across? 3:52:27

Eric Stuckey 2:51;22 our legislators are a great resource and they do a trememndous job..  but they have a job to do , so it's not always advocacy for our city's needs and they are one of a larger body. 2:51:34

  According to Americans for Prosperity, taxpayer fund lobbying (nationally) to the tune of  $1 trillion a year. 

stacy: 16:58:09 why from your perception is this a waste of money?
(butt and clean it up between question and answer

stacy: 16:58:09 why from your perception is this a waste of money?
(butt and clean it up between question and answer) David Stokes 16:58:18 it's a waste of money bc in the end there's no good thing that comes out of it.

  (show video of david I sent you & his paper I sent you via email)  Missouri Policy Analyst David Stokes studies taxpayer funded lobbying... and write publications on the topic.

David Stokes **** 16:56:19 it's really a lose lose situation for taxpayers. bc if it's successful then government grows and government programs increase and taxes increase and if it fails it's been a total waste of money so in the end there's no good way to come out of it. 16:56:30

Stokes points out -- when state governments listen to tax payer funded lobbyists expressing the will of the city government---
   They only hear the will of government--- not the people.

WASTE WATCH: Taxpayer Lobbyists

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