It’s one thing for a political campaign to hire a campaign consultant, but it’s another for taxpayer money to be used to pass a tax increase. Think about it- would you pay someone your own money, to make you pay more for something?
If the politicians can’t get a tax increase passed without being able to present a rational argument for the increase, there is no reason to hire in a political hack. Read what’s happening in Xenia from the DDN:
Virgil Vaduva, of June Drive, Xenia, filed a civil lawsuit in Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, March 2, alleging the seven-member council and City Manager Jim Percival acted fraudulently and misappropriated funds as they prepared to place a 0.5 percent income tax increase before voters May 4.
In his lawsuit, Vaduva claims Xenia officials should not have used taxpayer dollars to hire Columbus-based Avakian Consulting to help improve Xenia’s image as part of the city’s tax request or paid $4,000 to Wright State University for a survey that helps support it. He is asking the court to stop officials from placing the issue on the ballot.
“They’re skirting elections law as far as I’m concerned, using public funds to promote a tax increase,” Vaduva said in an interview. He also takes credit for creating the web log stopxeniatax.blogspot.com.
Go take a look at the Avakian site. Notice it says its offices are in Dayton, Columbus and Boston- and that it has 3 employees mentioned. Note also- that until Dayton Public Schools hired Burges and Burges on the no-bid $6K a month contract, Steve Avakian was their consultant (that should tell you something about his mad PR skills). I’ve mentioned Avakian’s “firm” before on this site. This was the first time I could actually find a web site for him.
Now, looking over the Avakian web site- where are the case studies, the white papers, or anything suggesting that this company has anything other than political connections? Want to see what a real marketing company in the area has for a site- here is a link to almost all of them: Agencies that aren’t The Next Wave. Who would you ask to rebrand your city? (And note, it shouldn’t be The Turner Effect– owned by Congressman Turner’s wife – with a site that’s “temporarily down”).
Mr. Vaduva may be a little on the fringe side of politics, but he has it absolutely right- governments shouldn’t be spending tax dollars on political campaigns.