Audit Dings Utah’s Spending on Wolf Delisting

Want to personally make more than $200,000 from the Utah State Government?

Figure out a way to get the Legislature to spend $800,000 to provide a plan to delist from the federal government a predator that was already on its way to being delisted as an endangered species.


Just cry wolf.

A scathing audit released Tuesday to legislative leaders by the Legislative Auditor General shows how $800,000 was spent over four years lobbying Congress to delist the wolf, when in fact federal agencies were already well on their way to doing just that.

The audit showed that the contract winner – who got the money without competition – actually hired a lobbyist to lobby the Utah Legislature to continue funding the program.

You can read the state audit here.

It’s a poster-boy account about how NOT to set up a program whose effectiveness and operations ended up with a lot of questions – even to the conclusion that when one private 501(c)3 group had to bow out of the wolf program because of non-profit political requirements, a new 501(c)4 entity was set up, and the 501(c)3 attorney was hired to run the (c)4, so the questionable anti-wolf program could continue.

The audit is a good read.

We’ll see how Democrats try to make use of it in the upcoming 2014 legislative elections.