Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lobbyists spending $789K on coal plants

April 16, 2008


— Lobbyists have reported spending more than $789,000 during the ongoing debate over two proposed coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas, most of it on efforts to sway public opinion.

Opponents of the plants initially reported putting far more money into their public relations campaign. But since the year began, supporters have reported six times as much spending, reports filed by individual lobbyists show.

The dueling campaigns are unusual for their intensity and for their focus on trying to build outside pressure on legislators.

Sunflower Electric Power Corp. wants to build the two plants outside Holcomb, in Finney County. But the $3.6 billion project has been blocked since October by Rod Bremby, secretary of health and environment.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill last month to allow the plants and to strip the secretary of some power. Legislators approved a second, similar measure; it reached her desk Monday, but she's expected to reject it as well.

Of the more than $789,000 spent over the past six months, almost 99 percent has been spent either on advertising or on other efforts to build outside pressure. Typically, the biggest expenditure for most lobbyists has been providing free meals, drinks and snacks to legislators.

"I think it's the most efficient and effective way to get our message out to people," said Sunflower spokesman Steve Miller. "That message out to the public ultimately translates into input to the legislators."


lounger 10 years, 2 months ago

"Typically, the biggest expenditure for most lobbyists has been providing free meals, drinks and snacks to legislators." Butter me up please! What a bunch of sh*t! The whole Idea of lobbyist is crooked!

zzgoeb 10 years, 2 months ago

Just think if that money had been spent for a cleanup project, or funded alternative energy technology at public facilities. As for the "freebies" for the legislature, this simply needs to be outlawed immediately!!!

KS_Emigrant 10 years, 2 months ago

It would seem that some of the commentators above me have missed what the second last paragraph says. Unlike the usual MO that lobbyists utilize, the article says the pro-power-plant people have spent 99% of their money on advertising and other efforts to get citizens to talk to their legislators. Imagine that, getting voters to talk to their elected officials. Kind of risky, trusting your message to the masses, unless you know this is something they want. Seems to me they should be praised for trying this alternative way of influencing legislators; instead we get the usual drivel about how lobbying is corrupt.

georgeofwesternkansas 10 years, 2 months ago

Yes but, what the article does not say was wich lobby spent what. The pro-coal people scraped togeather around $200K. The anti-coal natural gas lobby spent over $500K to sway the vote to natural gas fired generation.

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