Minneapolis, MN—The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has named Tom Steward, longtime Twin Cities public affairs journalist and media strategist, to be Investigative Director of its Government Transparency Team. Steward will lead the Minneapolis think tank’s efforts to identify wasteful government spending and programs at the local and state level, highlighting concerns and common sense solutions by releasing its findings online and to the media.
“Everyone deserves to get the best value for their dollar, whether it’s at the grocery store or city hall, particularly in times like these,” Steward said. “The reality is that the economic downturn and record budget deficit mean tax revenues and resources are at more of a premium than ever. This is an ideal opportunity to pick up where I left off as a reporter and do our part to help provide the scrutiny and oversight that’s so essential to our system.”
The Government Transparency Team will have a statewide focus, encouraging citizen participation through confidential tips on potential government waste from the public and whistleblowers on its web site at www.freedomfoundationofminnesota.com.
A top priority will be to expose spending and pet projects that fall outside the category of essential government services. Many Minnesota municipalities currently operate businesses that not only compete with the private sector, but actually lose money in the process.
“The main idea behind our Government Transparency Team is to follow the money, your money,” said Annette Meeks, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota CEO.
“Many Minnesotans might be surprised at the creativity of elected representatives when it comes to spending their hard earned dollars. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of examples and thanks to his background in media and government, Tom Steward knows where to find it and what to do about it.”
A veteran television journalist and documentary producer, Steward served most recently as regional communications director for the McCain 2008 campaign and as communications director for U.S. Senator Norm Coleman from 2003-2008. Prior to that, Steward was an in-depth public affairs reporter for WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, among other news stations.
The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota is an independent, non-profit educational and research organization that develops and actively advocates the principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, economic freedom, and limited government.