Apr
14

Making Small Government Pay Big

By

Buncombe County’s own Rep. Tim Moffitt isn’t waiting to cash in in his position as a public servant. No need to leave the legislature for that lucrative lobbying gig just yet. The News & Observer reports that Moffitt has already found a way to monetize his position of public trust. His new venture shows how the clever entrepreneur can make small government pay big while drawing a public paycheck:

“InTouchNC LLC is offering polished websites, newsletters and Twitter and Facebook accounts to state lawmakers. The cost of the service ranges from $250 to $1,000 a month, based on the amount of personalized information requested by the legislator, Moffitt said in an interview with the Insider. And the service – a way for legislators to keep their constituents back home ‘in touch’ with their General Assembly work – apparently is selling like hotcakes. As of Monday, websites from InTouchNC were live online for 38 House Republicans – nearly half of party’s House members. ‘We’re excited about it,’ Moffitt said. ‘It’s a very professional way for members here to communicate with folks back home.’ No senators or Democrats had signed up as of this week.”

Moffitt purchased domain names for “all 120 House districts and 50 Senate districts.” Just think, there are 49 other states in the union, plus the U.S. Congress waiting to be served the way North Carolina is being served.


Comments

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    Yes, but has he crossed a line that maybe he shouldn’t have? Thomas Mills thinks that’s a possibility.

    Thumb up 5

  2. Posmo says:

    It turns out that Moffitt’s so-called “company” (which doesn’t even have its own real web site) purchased only the .com domains. Someone with time and a little money could purchase the .org and .net domains, especially for, say, nchouse166.org/.net, and publish their own updates about Tim “Why Get Elected If I Can’t Cash In?” Moffitt. Or any other legislator, I suppose.

    Anyway, Tim needs the cash because he’s taking on the well-funded Bloomberg. :-/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  3. TJ says:

    He can tweet all his “followers” as he drools over his booty from Asheville.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  4. Jeff Mclarty says:

    I’ll bet they all get their twitter feeds hacked.

    Thumb up 7

  5. TJ says:

    That would be nice, actually.

    Where’s Anonymous when you need them?

    Guys?

    Not that I’m encouraging illegal stuff, guys.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  6. Doug Gibson says:

    I think the fact that he’s offering some websites for free is only one issue. Are the rates he’s quoting for a sort of turnkey stay-in-touch communications service market rates? Or is he discounting them somehow? The key question is how much Moffitt is subsidizing his “home” business from some other source of income.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  7. nick s says:

    The key question is how much Moffitt is subsidizing his “home” business from some other source of income.

    It’s pretty clear that it’s a nice little way to siphon campaign cash into the hands of Moffitt’s motley mob.

    The state ethics commission may be okay with it, but it stinks to high heaven: I’m fine with elected officials maintaining both a campaign site and an official site, but districts are not the same as the people elected to represent them.

    Perhaps a Dem legislator might try a domain-squatting case against Timmeh? For that matter, will he release those domains when districts change hands and the new incumbent doesn’t want to pay up the ridiculous monthly? It looks as if the registration on all those sites is only until the end of 2013, so he’s not taking the long bet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  8. RHS says:

    “but has he crossed a line that maybe he shouldn’t have?”

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3