Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Omaha Recall : Another Lobbyist End Run?

Skirting the Omaha City Council to hire a lobbyist has played so well before that Mayor Suttle apparently decided to do it again.

State Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue has a bill in the Nebraska Legislature that would undo Omaha's wheel tax on commuters who live outside Omaha. KFAB is reporting that Mayor Suttle hired lobbyist John Lindsay to work against it. 

The fee: $19,000.

What a coincidence. Expenditures of $20,000 must be approved by the city council.

Does the number $19,000 sound familiar? That's what the mayor paid a lobbyist in DC to try to find federal money for a streetcar in Omaha.

This hearkens back to the mayor hiring lobbyist Walt Radcliffe to fight a tax proposal by State Sen. Tom White of Omaha that many (myself included) believed benefited Omaha. The mayor hired Radcliffe for $50,000 and did an end run around the city council by negotiating five $10,000 contracts.

Meanwhile the city has a paid lobbyist.

Happy voting.

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