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Grand Rapids pays someone to represent the City in Washington

November 28, 2012

This morning, MLive posted a story about what the City of Grand Rapids pays a lobbyist in DC. The article identifies Dykema Gossett PLLC as being the lobbying firm the city has used since 2006.

The cost to the City of Grand Rapids, and thus to taxpayers, is $5,250 per month, which comes to $63,000 a year.

The remainder of the brief article includes comments from a City staff member and First Ward Commissioner Dave Shaffer, both of which speak very highly of the lobbying firm. The article lists several projects, which had received federal funding because of the lobbying efforts of Dykema Gossett PLLC.

The article ends with the following comment:

“We believe that given the direction in Congress (with the ban on earmarks), it’s very important for us to have representation in D.C.” Alibasic said. “We’re going to be looking to really strengthen our grant opportunities through this contract.”

Such a statement is a reflection of how politics works in this country. If you pay someone to “represent” your interests, government works. Questioning the City staffer who made such a comment was not what the MLive reporter was interested in, even though asking for further clarification on what was meant by paying someone in DC to represent “us” really means.

The MLive story is also lacking on content about the lobbying firm itself, not even a link to the company’s site.

It would stand to reason that if taxpayers are coughing up $63,000 a year to this company, they should know something about the firm the City of Grand Rapids has hired.

Dykema Gossett has several offices in Michigan and across the country. They provide a number of services besides lobbying, such as legal work and consultation. The firm works in numerous fields of business, but represents three main industries – automotive, energy and the financial industry. A pretty corrupt trio.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Dykema Gossett didn’t spend much money during the last election cycle, with only two payments to candidates, both going to 2nd Congressional Candidate Bill Huizenga. However, employees of the firm made significant contributions to candidates, with a total of 337 separate donations, many of which were $1,000 or more. Here is a list of recipients of that money from Dykema Gossett.

Dykema has a pretty interesting client base, in addition to the City of Grand Rapids. Such a client list would make anyone with a conscience have serious reservations about doing business with a company that profits from the likes of Bank of America, Bayer Corporation, Compuware Corporation, eBay Inc., Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda North America, JPMorgan Chase, McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Sears Roebuck & Company, The Walt Disney Company, Verizon Wireless and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

It’s unfortunate that MLive did not bother to provide readers with any background information on the company that Grand Rapids taxpayers have given nearly $400,000 to since 2006.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. SitInvertn permalink
    November 29, 2012 4:32 pm

    Don’t worry I have cardboard, sharpes, and a hypo passive aggressive streak that a tortoise of Meth would envy.
    http://www.michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmaker-says-dissolving-detroit-should-be-option

  2. SitInvertn permalink
    November 29, 2012 4:34 pm

    On Meth***

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