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2nd Prd 4:50

letters | state mounts offensive over defense sector

Lobbyists loom as Mass. spends

Re “New players, game plan as region’s clout wanes” (Page A1, April 27): Your important reporting on a sizably funded state task force hitherto hidden from public scrutiny points up the latest twist in the grotesque logic of a domestic economy long in the thrall of defense spending. Here we see Massachusetts spending $177 million of taxpayer money to compete for federal outlays on military operations, thus reaching twice into taxpayers’ pockets.

The Commonwealth’s need to preserve its job base may be the pretext for this scheme. But I suspect that it is really a way to divert attention from the insidious dynamic that originates with lobbyists.

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Lobbying firms, by practice and design, are tails that wag the dog. In this instance, an idea of dubious utility — and one that invites graft — is sold for $177 million, plus unknown sums in fees and commissions, to legislators who will later be trampling one another to feed at the trough. This particular trough will be hidden far from public view.

I commend the Globe for its reporting, and Massachusetts Peace Action for its vigilance in opposing the effort to create the task force. Meanwhile, I will dress warmly for the day when the Legislature successfully blocks any of the task force’s recommended expenditures, as hell will have frozen over.

David Zackon

Wakefield

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