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Philadelphia Councilman Defends Spending Thousands For ‘Tweets,’ Facebooking

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia City Councilman is defending his decision to use taxpayer dollars to hire a local firm to “tweet” on Twitter in his name.

Councilman-at-large Jim Kenney hired a Philadelphia-based company called Chatterblast to handle his Internet public relations — including tweeting and a Facebook page. The cost was $28,000, paid for by taxpayers.

Kenney defends the cost, saying other council members use staffers whose salaries are higher.

“I didn’t want to pay a staff person $60,000 plus benefits to do it,” he told KYW Newsradio.

And Kenney insists the firm handles more than innocuous tweets.

“This is not just tweeting. If you look at the web site, the other things they do are policy discussion, legislative information.”

Kenney also uses an outside public relations consultant at a similar price for traditional outreach efforts. He says he hopes to continue both contracts in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1st, though it would be subject to the approval of City Council president Darrell Clarke.

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  • ms

    Raise my taxes to pay for his twitter!!!!

  • Tray

    Wonder how much more taxpayer money is being wasted. Schools are closing, fire stations are being browned out, but this stuff isn’t as important as tweeting and public relations. How many unnecessary employees are on the city payroll. Meanwhile someone like me is working 2 jobs to make ends meet. FORENSICE AUDIT is what this city needs. Every single agency should be audited and the taxpayers credited for all the unnecessary spending.

  • sammysamples

    Not only is this a horrible waste of the taxpayers money, imagine the other councilpeople he’s talking about hiring full time people(probably their friends or relatives) to do this at our expense. It’s a crime the way they blatantly waste taxpayer money.

  • grumpy

    They should have to pay for their twitter accounts with their own money just like everyone else in the private sector does!

  • NS

    Philadelphia is in trouble because of buffoons like Kenney wasting our tax dollars.

  • Samuel A. Maffei

    the ego on this guy!!!!

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