Now political consultants are on the taxpayers’ payroll?

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.

via Xenia sued for misusing taxpayer money by commissioner candidate.

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.

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5 Responses

  1. truddick March 2, 2010 / 10:13 pm
    We’ve been ignoring the tax tricks for too long.
    The worst ones, in my mind, come from pols who promise “I won’t raise your taxes” but then hold state funds hostage unless citizens agree to raise their own taxes.  This was the pattern in the state school construction funds; either pass a tax levy or your community gets none of the money.  Also in highway repair and even higher education, where counties like Montgomery and Loraine pay extra taxes for their community colleges but counties like Miami, Clark, or Franklin do not.
    My opinion: setting fair and sustainable tax rates is the job of legislators, and if they keep shoving it off on the people, they’re not doing the job.  If taxes need raising, the legislators ought to do it themselves and educate the public on the rationale.
  2. Steve March 3, 2010 / 8:44 am
    The residents said the City has a bad image in the minds of the public.  They tried to do something to fix that.  and How is this related to an income tax increase request?
  3. David Esrati March 3, 2010 / 9:24 am

    @Steve if the City has an image problem- hire an ad agency- not a political consultant. He’s hired to help pass the levy- nothing more.

    Go look at the sites of real agencies- compare the examples. Some do REAL work.

  4. Virgil Vaduva March 3, 2010 / 12:23 pm
    David, the fringe side? Cmon, you are hurting my feelings. :)

    In all seriousness, I really appreciate the fact that all of us can put down politics and affiliations to stand up to abuse of power and of public funds, regardless of political parties.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. burgess and burgess October 21, 2010 / 9:02 pm
    That is very clear: “would you pay someone your own money, to make you pay more for something?”  Granted that is politics but as far as i can tell they are trying to throw a curve ball.  Public funds shouldn’t be used to fund political agendas, even if there is a loop hole.

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