Ex-Leicestershire council leader David Parsons nominated for Pinhead of the Year 2012 award
Former Leicestershire County Council leader David Parsons is in the running along with I'm a Celebrity MP Nadine Dorries for an award neither will be hoping to win.
Both are on the shortlist for the TaxPayers' Alliance Pinhead of the Year 2012 title.
The pressure group is running a public vote to find the politician who they say has been found to show a disregard for tax payers' cash.
Coun Parsons has been nominated because it emerged earlier this year that he could have saved more than £24,000 of public money had he taken the train for more than 200 trips to London rather than County Hall's chauffeur- driven car.
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This summer, officers at the county council calculated the figure based on 202 trips he made to the capital by car over a six-year period compared to the equivalent cost of travelling by rail.
Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire Ms Dorries is in line for the title following her highly publicised appearance on the television show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in Australia when Parliament was sitting.
BBC chairman Lord Patten is also nominated following the £450,000 pay-out to ex director general George Entwhistle as well as Liberal Democrat energy minister Ed Davey for increasing the number of employees in his Westminster department in a time of austerity.
Mr Parsons yesterday told the Mercury he did not want to comment on his nomination.
However, opposition councillors said it provided yet more unwanted publicity for the council.
County Hall Liberal Democrat group leader Simon Galton said: "I'm sure he won't win because the others are far more high profile but the real issue is the attention this gets the county council for all the wrong reasons."
Aside from the controversial use of the council limousine, Coun Parsons was censured by the council's standards panel for not reimbursing the authority promptly with money he claimed for trips to Europe.
He subsequently apologised, stood down as leader and later quit the Tory Group just before colleagues voted to expel him.
Coun Galton said: "Unfortunately, for most of this year David Parsons has been the issue that has dominated both inside the council and in the press.
"This Pinhead thing is distracting from the important issues."
Labour group leader Max Hunt said: "I believe the fact he is being mentioned in the same context as some very controversial politicians says a lot."
However, one senior Tory county councillor dismissed the poll as "silliness".
He said: "Yes, David Parsons has made some mistakes, but he has paid a very high price."
The TaxPayers' Alliance is also running a pin-up of the year contest for those deemed to have saved public money.
Nominees are Windsor council leader David Burbage, Labour MP Stella Creasy, Tory MP Ben Gummer and his colleague Mark Reckless. Votes will be counted until Christmas Eve.