State government, agencies and commissions are shelling out hundreds millions of dollars to public relations firms. Eighty-seven state agencies spent $278 million dollars to convince citizens to spend more taxpayer or gaming dollars on bigger government, higher taxes, more regulations, or more gambling from 2012 through 2016.
Here’s how the numbers breakdown. Since 2012, taxpayers paid $110 million to employ 303 public affairs employees, spokespeople, advertising, video, print, web, graphic designers, marketing and communications managers. But, it wasn’t enough. The state shelled out an additional $168 million to outside PR and advertising firms. Some of those firms charge fees up to $260 per hour and one company reaped total payouts of $34 million – convincing Oregonians to gamble.