David Stokes
One issue we have talked about here before is the pervasive and unfortunate practice of governments hiring lobbyists to lobby other governments, usually for more aid or more authority to raise taxes. As if to celebrate Josh's and my visit to the St. Louis city Board of Aldermen this morning (for the simple purpose of attending a meeting of that body, which we had never done before), the Post-Dispatch is reporting that the board cut money for the police department that would have been used to hire a lobbyist.

I commend the board for this. The police commissioners have other St. Louis–elected officials, not to mention their own standing as police officials, to engage legislators in Jefferson City. They don't need to spend taxpayer dollars doing that. (And I say this even though I agree with the police board regarding the local control issue, which the Post article suggests was the rationale for hiring a lobbyist in the first place.)

Local officials who need assistance at the state or federal levels have their own respective elected officials and their staffs to help them. I have nothing against private organizations or individuals hiring lobbyists, but governments should not spend tax money in efforts to get still more tax money.

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.