THE decision by officials at West Virginia University to spend as much as half-million dollars to hire people to lobby the Legislature and Congress should not sit well with the public.
No tax-supported entity should be allowed to spend money to lobby for more tax dollars.
If that is not illegal, it should be.
WVU will spend $160,000 a year to hire Richard V. French, a former member of the staff of Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, D-W.Va., and a former director of planning at the U.S. Department of Labor to represent the university in Washington.
Mary Bowman is paid $89,000 a year to lobby for WVU in Washington. Her assistant costs $30,000.
The university will pay Paul Hardesty and John Cavacini $10,000 each for three months to lobby for WVU Research Corp. the university's nonprofit.
WVU could spend $480,000 a year on lobbyists.
"It is essential for WVU to have a strong presence in Washington to advance its national agenda and interests," said WVU chief of staff Jay Cole. "From informing policymaking to competing for grants, WVU has a great deal to offer at the national level."