Usually I just scan Elon University communications professor David Noer’s semi-regular Sunday N&R columns. But –as you can imagine —he drew my interest with yesterday’s column on the City of Greensboro’s $1 million federal grant “to generate innovative solutions to economic problems.”

Remember the city had to put up a $250,000 match to receive the grant, which –as Noer notes —-“a quarter of a million dollars means inestimably more to Greensboro’s budget than $1 million does to our federal government.”

But Noer as makes the point I made earlier regarding the politics of federal grants:

At another level, giving away money in an election year is a smart political tactic. The headline from the Commerce Department’s press release said “Obama Administration Announces Winners of Strong Cities, Strong Communities Challenge. Not “The Commerce Department Announces,” but “The Obama Administration Announces.”

City Manager Denise Turner Roth summed up both the lobbying and political realities when she said “We have been looking for opportunities to become one of their favorites,” she said. “They give away a lot of money for planning and infrastructure. … We hope to be able to continue to draw their attention.”

G’boro won’t be able to be one of the Obama administration’s favorites if Obama’s not there come January ’13. Don’t think government workers in municipalities all over the country will keep this in mind when they walk into the voting booth in November.