Big Government: It’s like a black hole, a crap ton of negative mass that eats everything in its path until it gets so large that it starts eating itself. Or snakes.
What better image is there to describe this phenomenon which defies all reasoning? State agencies using taxpayer dollars lobby state lawmakers:
A Lansing State Journal analysis showed $556,000 in taxpayer money was used by state government agencies to lobby the Michigan Legislature in 2012.
State officials from various departments said the money equates to staff time spent advancing the interests of those agencies and, more broadly, the policy agenda of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
“There’s nothing insidious here. There’s no wining and dining of lawmakers,” Snyder spokesman Kurt Weiss said. “It’s listening to hearings at the Capitol, talking with lawmakers. Every administration has a staff that does that.”
The half-million dollars reportedly spent on lobbying by state departments last year is the highest figure reported since 2001, the earliest year for which reports are available online through the secretary of state’s office.
Over the past 12 years, total reported lobbying expenses from state agencies have been as little as $190,700 in 2003 to as high as $486,600 in 2008.
Both of those years fell under the administration of Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who preceded Snyder.