WHAS reporter Mark Hebert is interested in the cost of government agency conferences after getting a tip that Kentucky taxpayers spent $26,000 for a regional agriculture conference in June.
The coverage and the complaints surrounding this episode seem a little selective and probably have more to do with rumors of Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer running for governor in 2011 than with a sudden media interest in fiscal responsibility. (I’m glad to be proven wrong on this, but that would involve comparing the costs of other conferences and determining which items were unnecessary.)
If we really want to have a discussion about the cost of government conferences, then we should really have one. Putting all government expenditures on the internet for everyone to see would make it easier to find instances in which tax money is wasted, rather than waiting around for someone’s political opponent to get mad and hand over some records to a reporter.