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Freedom Foundation lists federal lobbying costs of local governments

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, which advocates for limited government, has analyzed federal filings to determine that local governments in Minnesota spent $729,000 so far this year to lobby the federal government and have spent $5.2 million on federal lobbying since 2006.

Jonathan Blake, vice president of Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, said: “Local governments are spending millions of tax dollars to lobby for millions more. At a time when people are demanding accountability in government and an end to reckless spending, that just doesn’t make sense.”

The group does include a statement from Scott County Administrator Gary Shelton, who said the federal lobbying is needed: “I do believe that given the multitude of issues at the federal level that directly impact the cost of county government that it is important the county have a voice and be heard. I also believe it has been money well spent.”

The group’s list of the top spenders on federal lobbying since 2006:

 1. Scott County, $815,000
 2. City of Moorhead, $620,000
 3. Hennepin County, $405,000
 4. North Metro Mayors Coalition, $375,000
 5. Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority, $369,000
 6. Northstar Corridor Development Authority, $363,000
 7. City of Minneapolis, $310,000
 8. Anoka County, $280,000
 9. Metropolitan Airports Commission, $220,000
 10. City of St. Cloud, $180,000
 11. City of Willmar, $180,000
 12. St. Cloud Planning Organization, $180,000
 13. Duluth Airport Authority, $180,000
 14. Stearns County, $140,000
 15. Bemidji Regional Airport, $140,000
 16. Beltrami County, $120,000
 17. Minnesota Association of Small Cities, $80,000
 18. Minneapolis/Duluth Superior Passenger Rail Alliance, $50,000
 19. Association of Minnesota Counties, $40,000
 20. City of St. Paul, $30,000
 21. Dakota County, $30,000
 22. Ramsey County, $30,000
 23. Marshall Transportation Group, $20,000
 24. St. Louis County, $20,000
 25. Olmsted County, $20,000
 26. Ramsey County, Regional Railroad Authority $20,000.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/20/2010 - 06:26 pm.

    Perhaps, Dear Free Foundation, local units of government wouldn’t have to lobby at all if politicians like Tim Pawlenty and Tom Emmer weren’t trying so hard to reduce their funding to near zero.

  2. Submitted by Kathy Coulter on 08/23/2010 - 08:21 am.

    About that “funding” thing, Bernice…let’s all try to find a way to speak with precision. “Funding” is a euphemism for “taxpayer dollars”. We now have a system where levels of government reach up to the next level for a grab at taxpayer dollars confiscated at THAT level for re-distribution as the oligarchs at that higher level see fit. Another version of the entitlement shaking-the-money-tree mentality. Yes, the official who speaks of the cost of Federal regulatory meddling in county and local affairs has a point…just not the correct one. We need to put a stop to such un-Constitutional meddling. Cities, counties, and the State of Minnesota all need to properly define their public policy responsibilities to citizens, deliver these to the best of their ability, and live within their means. And we all need to make sure that in this election we do considerable wing-clipping at the Federal level.

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