I have sympathy for Oregon State Representative Mike McLane. We both want to shift some funding to higher priorities but have run into the entrenched political powers of the status quo. He wants to shift transportation dollars; I want to shift educational dollars (just $30,000 to send five Oregon high school students to China for the school year 2012-13). He has run into the political power of Paul Phillips and his firm Pac/ West; I have run into the political power of the teacher unions (who want all educational dollars to flow to their members).
Michelle Cole writes in her Oregonian article “Oregon freshman Representative Mike McLane challenges $2 million carpooling campaign and veteran lobbyist” (here):
With gas pushing $4 a gallon, does the state of Oregon really need to spend $2 million on a marketing campaign aimed at getting people to drive less?
House freshman Mike McLane doesn't think so. New to the budget-writing committee, the Republican from Powell Butte was struck by the state's ongoing investment in the "Drive Less. Save More." campaign launched in the Portland Metro region in 2006.
His question: "After five years, how much more advertising do we need?"
Instead, he suggests that the money might be better spent on transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.
With his questions, McLane, 46, is learning just how hard it is to kill a government program once it gains traction. And by picking on "Drive Less. Save More." McLane has taken on one of the Capitol's most powerful lobbyists whose company holds the five-year, $7.5 million contract for the campaign and whose clients contributed hundreds of thousands to state lawmakers' elections last year......
I’m losing my fight. I wish Representative McLane luck! He has my support, for what it is worth!