Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hypocrisy in Politics? No....

I hesitate to post this, because I'm a Republican, and this example reflects negatively on the Democrats. But, I'll do it anyway, with the caveat that I expect nothing less (or more?) from the RNC. It's much more surprising, these days, to find a politican or political group that isn't hypocritical... and I've become jaded enough that I just figure we haven't discovered their hypocrisy yet.



Kevin said...

It seems that the article has been updated. Perhaps in more than one place. The DNC is reimbursing the city for the gas plus paying the extra taxes.

But what bothers me more than the DNC's hypocrisy is that it was even possible. How and why is it even legal for the DNC or RNC to use the city's gas pumps?


steviepinhead said...

Well, cities do vie for the favors of these large events, on the theory that a lot of cash will fall out of the pockets of the event-goers and into the wallets of the host businesses.

I'm speculating that this must have been one more lure to dangle to attract the event...

Not all that different from the tax breaks that governmental subdivisions hand out at all levels to attract factories, headquarters, race tracks, sports palaces, etc.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the explanation, Stevie. It does make more sense that it would be the city's decision, and the city would want to attract large groups.

But doesn't it seem somewhat strange that the city would have the power to waive state and federal gas taxes at its discretion?

steviepinhead said...

Well, here I'm purely speculating...

I suspect that the city pumps are simply not subject to these various taxes. Not that the city has the power to waive them on a case by case basis.

The city's "decision" (if my "model" of "city attempting to attract convention business" is even correct in this case) would relate solely to providing access to the pumps to non-city personnel. Something which sounds somewhat, er, non-legal, when you start to think about it. Which may be one among several reasons that, once the light of day was shone upon the matter, the retraction of access ensued.

This update ( http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jul/22/city-gives-dnc-host-committee-pass-gas-tax/ )-- which may well be the same one we looked at earlier, but which I'm now reading with some different questions in mind -- indeed seems to suggest there would be questions of legality if the city were spreading its own tax-exempt status around too flagrantly.

Here's a later update: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jul/29/61-planning-vehicles-are-regulars-at-city-pumps/

I found the resort to "security" as an explanation for this deal in both articles particularly amusing. Worries about "tainted gas" would seem to be pretty far down the list of security concerns that one would think would include little things like, oh, assassination, bombing, riots, etc.

Indeed, if someone fiddling with the gas or gas tanks was a concern, you'd think that funneling all the fill-ups through a single and predictable source would be less "secure" than allowing the DNC vehicles to fuel up more or less at random from commercial sources spread around the city.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the updates, Stevie! It was very kind of you to look into that and provide a summary.

I agree with all of your commentary. I also find it interesting that whether or not the RNC is doing that as well is left unresolved.

In any case, I think it is more evidence that clear and pervasive transparency is fundamental to good government.

Thanks again!