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The Galveston Daily News reported this month that the board of the Galveston Independent School District voted to pay the Austin consulting firm Moak, Casey & Associates up to $15,000 to lobby the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on their behalf.  The lobbyistspecific purpose of this arrangement is to get TEA to agree to a swap between the money the district will receive to buy down school property taxes and the money they will owe the state in Robin Hood payments.  Suffice it to say, the article states that some questioned why district officials just don't call TEA themselves to find out whether this is feasible.

Meanwhile, just up I-45 in Houston, the Texas Government Insider, a newsletter published by Capitol veterans Lynn and Mary Scott Nabors, reports that "Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority plans to unveil a Web blog in the next few months as a way of communicating directly with the public. The agency has even hired a former Houston Chronicle reporter to get the discussion rolling with daily postings."

In other words, Houston METRO is going to be using your tax dollars to pay a blogger to put out what will surely be some slick spin on the magnificence of METRO and its light rail schemes.

Is it too much ask of government officials at every level to, as part of their jobs, communicate directly with other government officials and their constituents cut out the taxpayer-funded middlemen and online spinsters masquerading as journalists?

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