| February 14, 2011

Taxpayer-funded lobbying must end

“Oklahoma taxpayers pay the bill every year for some state officials to lobby legislators, and several lawmakers say it is time to put an end to that practice,” John Estus reported on Sunday in an above-the-fold story in the state’s largest newspaper (“Oklahoma agency lobbying activities often on taxpayer dime”). Yes, without question, it is time to put an end to that practice. For more than four years now OCPA has been critical of what I call the “vast left-wing kleptocracy”—the good-ole-boy system at 23rd and Lincoln wherein state bureaucrats and taxpayer-funded special-interest groups take your money and use it to lobby for more of your money.

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves,” Thomas Jefferson understood, “is sinful and tyrannical.” Taxpayer-funded lobbying clearly distorts the democratic process. Government should not be providing funding to give voice to one side of an argument—in this case, the side that wants more government revenue and spending. This practice is sinful and tyrannical, and it’s especially egregious in a conservative state wherein the center-right majority outnumbers liberals by a margin of 83 to 13 (according to SoonerPoll conducted January 24-February 3, 2011).

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