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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

How much money should the City spend on the Feds?

Reading about Mayor Peyton being in Washington, DC, the other day reminded me to check on how much money the City is spending on Washington lobbyists.   There’s a great website, Open Secrets, that offers interesting information on federal lobbying expenses.  The 2008 fourth quarter reports aren’t due until January 20th, but I thought I’d take an early peek.

So far in 2008, the City has spent $270,000 to lobby the feds on broad categories such as federal budget and appropriations, homeland security, transportation, and health issues, among others. Between July 2003 and the end of the 3rd quarter of 2008 (Peyton’s time in office), the City paid Washington lobbyists Patton & Boggs and Holland & Knight approximately $1.63 million to lobby Congress, and various federal agencies and departments. 

 It makes for some very interesting reading when you look at the actual issues the City’s lobbyists worked on.  You can read more about it here – on the Open Secrets website.

So two questions come to mind:  If the City is paying these high-priced lobbyists to do work for us taxpaying citizens on the Hill, exactly why did Peyton need to be in Washington, DC last week?  And when Peyton says things like he did the other day (“There is no one really better to make our case than me. I think it’s important that I am here.”), how much money does the City really need to be spending on lobbying firms?

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