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Friday, 15th May 2009

Politicians Spend Millions in Tax Dollars on Self-Promotion

Politicians Spend Millions in Tax Dollars on Self-Promotion
Source: Goldwater Institute

A new Goldwater Institute report, "Shameless Self Promotion: How Politicians Use Your Money to Get Re-elected," shows Arizona's elected officials spent more than $4 million in public funds between 2006 and 2008 to showcase their names and images in publications and on billboards and television. The report's author, Shawnna L.M. Bolick, calls on the Arizona Legislature to stop this misuse of taxpayer funds.
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From former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano promoting Arizona restaurants on billboards, to a slick brochure featuring Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas that was inserted into major Arizona newspapers, these ads help politicians improve their name recognition and chances for re-election. This puts private citizens, who do not enjoy free advertising on the taxpayer dime, at a distinct disadvantage when running for public office.

Adding insult to injury, these tax-funded advertising efforts are often unrelated to the official duties of the public office. It is not the job of a public official to promote restaurants, congratulate little league teams, or pass out key chains, especially on the taxpayer dime. And the cost of these promotional activities is rarely, if ever, disclosed to the public.

+ Shameless Self-Promotion: How Politicians Use Your Money to get Re-Elected


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