Reality Stole My Punch Line

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The other day, I facetiously suggested that maybe Alaska could get federal money for its new P.R. campaign aimed at convincing the rest of America that the state is not greedy for federal money. David Boaz points out a detail from his December 23 Reason Online piece about Alaska's "bridges to nowhere" that I had forgotten:

The agency building Don Young's Way [one of the bridges] is advertising for lobbying firms to represent it in Washington at a cost of up to $150,000. The firms would engage in "lobbying, educating, reporting, communicating and coordinating."

If $150,000 actually buys enough educating, reporting, and communicating to make the $454 million Alaska got for the bridges seem like money well spent, I'd say it's a bargain.

NEXT: No Probing!

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  1. I heard a bit on NPR yesterday about lobbying firms getting their clients a 100-to-1 return on their investment (i.e., 100X the fees and expenses). They weren’t clear whether that was an average for all clients or just for clients who “won” at the public teat, but, either way, that’s insane. Anyone still wondering why everything begins and ends in Washington? Anyone still wondering why our politicians are so corrupt?

    And before anyone goes bats over “evil corporations”, some of the biggest players are organizations like AARP.

  2. All we need to do is tweak the system a little bit. Then we can have corruption free big government. I know McCain-Feingold wasn’t perfect, but with some more rules, more oversight boards, and more bureaucracy, it’ll be smooth sailing from here forward.

    I promise.

  3. Reality stole my RPG! Maybe a bright green bikinin and a pillow in the shape of a shamrock??

  4. I have a reform. Make it so that, somehow, it is a better use of your money to, say, invest it in your business or in advertising your cause, than to use it to bribe officials into forcing the country to behave a certain way or to give you its money.

  5. Lobbyists, evil corporations, and trial lawyers — the American public’s favorite distractions. Nobody wants to talk about the 350-pound teat in the room.

  6. Oprah is in the room?

  7. Reality Stole My Punch Line

    You should have known better, Jacob.

  8. It was analysis done in either Fortune or BusinessWeek within the last few months that concluded that ROPIs (Returns on Political Investment) frequently run into the many hundred thousands percent.

    The article went on to conclude that Abramoff was basically just making his compensation commensurate with the benefit he was providing.

  9. The USA should be restored to The Lower Forty-Eight: sell off Alaska, Hawaii and the rest (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam et al) to the highest bidders. The only problem will be all them flags torn up by ripping off the two stars…

  10. The USA should be restored to The Lower Forty-Eight: sell off Alaska, Hawaii and the rest (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam et al) to the highest bidders. The only problem will be all them flags torn up by ripping off the two stars…

  11. The USA should be restored to The Lower Forty-Eight: sell off Alaska, Hawaii and the rest (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam et al) to the highest bidders. The only problem will be all them flags torn up by ripping off the two stars…

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