Friday, December 17, 2010

UPDATE: City of Greensboro Dumps State Lobbyist But Now Wants To Hire Federal Lobbyist: Government Waste At It's Best

RFP_Federal_Lobbying[1] Post W-rev Dates

UPDATE 12-16-2010: This is a repost from a November post with the actual RFP request for proposal with the scribd version embedded above that was given to anybody who wanted to apply to be the federal lobbyist for the City of Greensboro . It looks like a timeline has been set to waste taxpayers money to go after taxpayers money.Below are the key dates.

IV. Key Dates

November 11, 2010 RFP Release Date
November 17, 2010 Final Date for Clarifying Questions (2:00pm Eastern Standard Time)
November 19, 2010 Responses to Questions Posted
December 10, 2010 Proposal Due Date (2:00pm Eastern Standard Time)
December 14, 2010 Tentative Interview Date
December 17, 2010 Tentative Selection of Proposal by Committee

Then in the RFP we have this stated :

XV. Award of Contract

Award of Contract, if awarded, will be made by the City Manager to the Respondent whose Proposal is determined to be the most advantageous to the City, taking into consideration the relative importance of price and other evaluation factors.
The City Manager gets to pick the awarded contract, when does the City Council get a say so in the contract? Also on December 17, 2010 which is when this post is put online they have a selection committee that is going to meet to select a proposal. Who makes up this committee?
Below is a repost from November 2010  on the issue of lobbyist and the complete waste of taxpayers money.

On Friday November 5, 2010, Greensboro City Manager Rashad Young released an "Items For Your Information" (IFYI). Usually these IFYI's are not interesting and don't provide much information to decifer from.

Not today.

One of the topics in the IFYI was a request for proposals for city lobbyist. Here is what was said:

At the January 26, 2010, Council Work Session, Council approved the City going forward with the process to engage federal lobbying representation and directed staff to pursue collaborating with the Greensboro Partnership to cover the cost and coordinate our efforts. The Greensboro Partnership has agreed to help with the cost of federal lobbying representation. We are in the process of developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to go out for solicitation November 10, 2010. You can find a copy of the draft RFP in the Clerk's Office. Once a finalist has been determined, Council will have a chance to vote on the contract and whether to go forward to engage federal lobbying representation as directed at the work session.

We also had Greensboro Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Vaughan back in June of 2010, want to and did eliminate the wasteful spending of a state lobbyist in Cam Cover off of the budget. Here is that post CLICKHERE.

Five months later, it looks like we have the City of Greensboro, which did a great job of not rehiring a state lobbyist to save taxpayers money, with direction that they did back in January to probably have to double or even triple the taxpayers money it is going to cost to have a federal lobbyist which should be what our federal representatives are there to do for us like House Rep. Howard Coble,House Rep. Mel Watt, House Rep. Brad Miller, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Kay Hagan.
Below the fold is a post from earlier in the year on TRIADWATCH when they had brought up this topic of hiring a federal lobbyist in a briefing agenda.
The briefing agenda for the City of Greensboro for January 26, 2010 has a interesting topic #3 as you can see from above . It looks like council wants to look at hiring a lobbyist to represent them on the federal level.

We have seen this past year in the town of Winston Salem and the county of Forsyth hired a Washington D.C. lobbyist firm in The Ferguson Group

Below is from the Forsyth County agenda.

15. Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement Between Forsyth County and the Ferguson Group, LLC for Federal Lobbying Services

Commissioner Bailey moved for adoption of the Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement Between Forsyth County and the Ferguson Group, LLC for Federal Lobbying Services. Commissioner Conrad seconded the motion, which was approved by a vote of five (5) to two (2). Commissioners Whisenhunt and Linville voted in opposition.

Sam Hieb from Piedmont Publius CLICKHERE has a post with a title called "stuck with the tab" back on December of 2007, talking about the lobbyist firm that is used in Forsyth County.

Come to find out it looks like the Ferguson Group represents a lot of towns and counties all over the state of North Carolina. Come to find out High Point N.C. is one of the clients. Who knew? How much wasted taxpayer money does this cost?

Before hiring a federal lobbyist there should be plenty of questions to ask, like:

Why does any city or county need to hire a federal lobbyist?

Does the lobbyist company have many other clients or are you one of the few?

Will the lobbyist company have an experienced lawyer or a young gun handling your case?

Will there be any conflicts of interest with other clients?

Like Cam Cover the state lobbyist for Greensboro in her relationship with time warner and the issue with tiered pricing in Greensboro back last year.

What is the return on investment with hiring this lobbyist company?

These are just a few of the questions that should be asked.

Below is from a NY Times article called "Hiring Federal Lobbyist, Towns Learn Money Talks"

Great point Mr. Phillips. I agree 100% with that. It will be interesting to see how this briefing goes next week and if anything comes out of this. Now we know how this briefing went in now in November they want to send out a RFP to hire a federal lobbyist. Government waste at it's best.Let's all understand what is going on with this program in that we have TAXPAYERS MONEY BEING WASTED TO GO AFTER TAXPAYERS MONEY. This is a great example of wasteful spending on the part of our local governments that needs to stop.
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of several Washington watchdog groups critical of earmarks, said it was local politicians' mandate to make their needs known — and the job of members of Congress to look out for them.

"If you're a mayor or a city councilman and you have to hire a lobbyist, what a gross admission of failure on your part," Mr. Phillips said. "I would think they have a fiduciary responsibility to not put taxpayer dollars into lobbyists when they're elected to be, really, the lobbyist for the people."

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