Sunday, January 17, 2010

Special interest lobbyists, spending your money, and keeping secrets from you!!

Oh the horror!  We all know how despicable "special interests" are, and how unctuous (or slimy, if you prefer), the lobbyists who represent them are.

Well here's a case that tops them all!  The MMA is a special interest lobbying group in Augusta that gets every  bit of its money from you - the taxpayer.  So you might think they're representing your interests and lobbying on your behalf. 

You might think so, but you'd be dead wrong.

Because the MMA is the Maine Municipal Association, a wholly owned subsidiary (as this reporter sees it) of town and city governments in Maine.  They exist first and foremost to lobby for the "special interests" of municipal government in the halls of Augusta.  And they finance their activities with money from we taxpayers.  They get that money in the form of dues paid by the member governments, which includes all but a very few in the state, and from the profits (geez, I hate that word!!!) they make selling insurance to those very same governments!

Wow!  From what I've been hearing lately, insurance companies are a bunch of crooks, the profits they make on the backs of "working families" are unconscionable, and they should be punished for their wicked ways.

But maybe that's only if the "evil profits" aren't used to make government even bigger.  Maybe profits are good when they can be used to help towns spend and tax more.  I can see the logic in that, can't you?

Now here's the really fun part.  The MMA has a lovely new building in Augusta, and they frequently let opponents to citizen tax reduction initiatives headquarter themselves on their premises.  And they have a wonderful web site, full of feel-good information on the benevolence of municipal government.

They also have an array of password protected information accessible only to members and associates of the organization, which does not include those of us who are not employed by municipal government or its elected officials.

It would seem that even though you and I pay for every bit of their efforts, and pay all their salaries and expenses via our taxes, we are not worthy to see and know what really goes on inside the inner sanctum of the MMA.

I don't know about you, but I think that is wrong, very wrong.  What are they trying to hide from us?  What is it they don't want us to know?

And what about that transparency thing all our officials like to tout these days?

Why don't you give your elected representative a call and ask him or her to explain what it is they should see, but we shouldn't?  I plan to, and I'll be sure to pass along any response I get.

Here's hoping they can see their way clear to show me what the MMA is hiding.

1 comment:

  1. MMA exemplifies the principle of Government ganging up on the governed, all in the name of COOPERATIVE effort to advance the COMMON GOOD.

    Naturally, at the town level, it is never ever explained as this sort of endeavor; and, truth be told, most town level officials don't have a clue about the dangers to their townfolk when enabling an organization such as the MMA.

    Sad to say, but Maine towns in general don't have the best and brightest looking after their affairs.

    Is it too late?

    I don't know!