September 2, 2014
Bobservations

Unneccessary Funding

By Robert Perlberg
Sunrise Publishing
Posted 12/23/08

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone spend more of our tax money on blatant self-promotion than our two U.S. Senators, Levin and Stabenow, but Michigan’s Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is putting them to shame.

Land’s publicity department (excuse me, office of communications) is headed up by one Kelly Chesney who weekly barrages the state’s media with useless “news releases” which do little more than tout the virtues of the job Land does.

I should at this point mention that I have no problem with the job Land is doing other than the spending of our tax dollars to promote herself.

The weekly news releases range from what should be obvious, such as Secretary of State offices will be closed on Labor Day, to absolutely blatant political advertising, the latest being headlined “Land delivers more quality results in 2008”.

I’m not sure how much it costs us to write two pages of nonsense and then fax those two pages plus a cover sheet to each newspaper, and I assume every radio and television station, in the state, but whatever it is it is entirely too much.

In a time when state government supposedly is looking for each and every dime it can save, this kind of expenditure doesn’t make much sense, especially when local school districts are holding their breath until they see whether or not the state will send them the money they were promised.

Is the amount of money spent on the news releases only a drop in the bucket? Probably, but every little bit helps. More than the money, though, is the audacity of the act.

It has been true for a long time that incumbents have a leg up on challengers in the election process, but this takes that truism far beyond what is ethical or reasonable.

To take this issue one step further, I can’t believe I’m the only one who takes offense to this. If I am then I must conclude that the way politicians conduct business has made the public so jaded that it is just another acceptable practice. That, too, is hard to swallow.

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