Dicks and Murray to be wooed by Olympia Money
8-16-2011. Larry Killion, Tea Party Patriot Citizen Journalist.
How would you like to make three quarters of a million dollars in the next four years? What? Can that happen in today’s economy? Yes. Check in with the Washington State Department of Transportation. Next month, officials in Olympia expect to award a four-year, $750,000 contract hoping that it will pay off by funneling back to the state millions of federal dollars for roads, bridges, buses and ferries.
That’s right. Denny Miller Associates has represented the Washington State DOT in Washington, D.C. since 1985 but their current contract expires Sept. 15th. They’ve been paid $1.1 million since August 2004. There are four other lobbyist companies that are competing for the contract. The DOT is the only Washington State Department to hire lobbyists in Washington D.C. other than Governor Gregoire’s office which also has a full time staff at work on the beltway.
You would think that with all the talk of spending cuts and the noise being made by the Tea Party movement; that things like this would not be thought of as a very wise move. But State officials believe that even if there is some governmental downsizing, they still expect to reap valuable monetary help for “job-creating-projects.”
Politicians like Dicks and Murray are salivating for any opportunity to claim their fame as job creators in Washington State. Over the years lobbyists have helped them prepare the state for federal policy changes and pursue potential funding opportunities such as in the 2009 stimulus package. Washington State has gained a hefty share of federal funds for roads and ferries because U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, 70, D-Wash., have been persuasive voices in the appropriations process. Two decades ago, a bill pushed by Dicks created a federal ferry program. Then two years ago, he aided the efforts of Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., to push through the Ferry Systems Investment Act that’s intended to create a steadier flow of funds for state-run ferry operations nationwide.
The present lobbyist company’s current contract in Washington began Aug. 30, 2004, as a four-year deal worth $624,000. With subsequent amendments and extensions since 2007 they increased their pay to a total value of $1,098,475 but they are in for some stiff competition if they want to keep their job. For more information on the contract competition, go to http://tinyurl.com/statebids. Input from the Congressman and the Senator can be accessed at their contact pages: Norm Dicks and Patty Murray