Republicans Quietly Scramble for Stimulus Cash

From Daily Kos

Washington Times: GOP lawmakers privately admit stimulus created jobs
by Jed Lewison
Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 08:42:03 AM PST

If there’s one thing that unites the Republican Party it’s that the stimulus bill was a job-killing piece of legislation that was the worst thing in the whole entire world for the economy, right? Or maybe that’s just what unites them in public, because in private the Washington Times reports they’ve been working overtime to get their hands on job-creating stimulus cash.

Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama’s economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would “create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities.”

Bond isn’t alone. Remember Joe “You Lie” Wilson?

Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, “You lie,” during Mr. Obama’s addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding. “We know their endeavor will provide jobs and investment in one of the poorer sections of the Congressional District,” he wrote to Mr. Vilsack in the Aug. 26, 2009, letter.

You see the pattern? Slam the stimulus in public, but in private, ask for stimulus funds to create jobs. For example, Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah:

On Feb. 13, 2009, Sen. Robert F. Bennett, Utah Republican, issued a statement criticizing the stimulus — but two days earlier, he privately forwarded to Mr. Vilsack a list of projects seeking stimulus money. “I believe the addition of federal funds to these projects would maximize the stimulative effect of these projects on the local economy,” he wrote.

And here’s even more quotes uncovered by the Washington Times in private letters written by Republican lawmakers seeking stimulus funds from the Agriculture Department:

Sen. Mike Johanns, Nebraska Republican: “The proposed project would create 38 new jobs and bring broadband to eight hospitals, five colleges, 16 libraries and 161 K-12 schools”
Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican: “It is anticipated that the project will create over 200 jobs in the first year and at least another 40 new jobs in the following years.”
Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican: “the employment opportunities created by this program would be quickly utilized”

Kudos to the Washington Times for having done the leg work of filing the FOIA requests to expose these examples of Republican lawmakers talking out of both sides of their mouths, publicly lambasting the stimulus as a job-killing measure, but privately conceding that it actually created jobs. It’s hard to imagine a more effective way of demonstrating Republican hypocrisy on the question of whether the stimulus bill creates jobs, and Dems should remind them of it every waking day.

Reprinted from Daily Kos

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  1. I see that this you have tagged as by you, David. I had never heard of “The Washington Times” nor “Daily Kos.” Therefore, I first ended up on “The Washington Times” online edition. Oddly, there I found a link to (if I recall correctly) a site with what appeareed to be a cute game provided by K. B. Hutchinson (I THINK she might be a senator who decided to run for governor of Texas against that crunchy-haired Rick Perry governor [Texas A&M — used to be agricultural commisioner of Texas, I guess]) Well, that wasn’t the article you have posted here.

    So then, after much wandering around that “Daily Kos” link — I spent some time listening to and watching the Senator Murtha videos first. Now THAT is really sad. He was only 77, went in for some sort of microscopic or laser surgery, they cut his intestines, I guess he got peritonitis and he died. They must have told the truth instead of trying to cover it up, but he is dead all the same. My husband admired some things greatly about him, although he did not agree with everything he said — well, he loved me and didn’t agree with everything I said, either. Anyway that is yet another subject; our flags ARE flying at half-mast — most of them, anyway, I guess. (Regardless, those videos were recorded live, but of course, they no longer are…)

    Well, I finally DID find that article that you have “reprinted” here.

    However, what I am curious to know is if “by David” means that you posted it on your site, or what??? Or are you saying that Jed Lewison is a Ghost Writer, you wrote this article and he published it under your name? Which brings us to the question I have asked before: “Just who in the world writes the speeches for politicians???” To me, these are good questions, all of this may have absolutely nothing to do with why you posted this.

  2. Hi Gwendol –

    Jed Lewison wrote this piece for the Daily Kos, a left-leaning mainstream political blog, where I read it. He was commenting on original reporting done by the right-leaning Washington Times, a Washington Daily newspaper. They see themselves as a counterweight to the Washington Post.

    I had no hand in writing the article. The “by David” attribute only means that I am the one who posted it to Anytime I post material from other sources or publications, I include a link to the original article or articles, and credit the writer, in this case, Jed Lewison.

    The longer article in the Washington Times, by Jim McElhatton, can be found HERE, as well as with the two links in the original post above.

    UPDATE: I have changed the Daily Kos link in the original post so that it now leads to the reprinted story, as it should have in the first place. Sorry you had so much trouble finding it. My bad.

  3. Wellllll, , ,I FINALLY got around to reading both the rather lengthy The Washington Times article AND the Daily Kos article back-to-back. Either way, all things being equal, I figure (like debate) anyone voting on something in Washington is supposed to know both sides, up down, inside-out, and backwards. In theory, the individual should be able to debate either side equally well. When a side can not be debated, then it is a slam-dunk and cannot be debated fairly. One the one hand, it appears that the country has been bleeding jobs or positions within the work-force and the figures have been skewed there for a number of reasons simply by the tool which has been used.

    It passed. Therefore, it is not a matter of “scrambling” — those politicians are picking up what cards they already know are on the table to be picked up. Call it cards, ear-marks, tags, whatever. Were they for the bill or whatever? No. It passed. Are they supposed to then ignore it? Are they supposed to get what they can regrouped for their individual constituents? Well, that’s what they are elected to represent. The rules of our game here in the United States are based upon The United States Constitution. The United States Constitution was drawn up and implemented prior to there being an internet. Our United States Constitution is a living document.

    This all filters down to Federal rights vs. States Rights and Macro-Economics vs. Micro-Economics. “Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Well, to translate that to texting is a bit difficult now. Why? Sometimes the OLD ways work quicker and easier. I don’t have a typewriter; I can immediately “keyboard” $ but I cannot back up and overstrike c with / in order to come up with the “cents” and a lot of those signs, “good old underlying DOS” (what operating system does that stand for?) won’t allow for it in an emergency. There are work arounds, but let us face it — any way you cut it, it is indeed a mess.

    I refer you to Oscar Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. (do I add another period here?) PRECISION is required with underlying computer work. Am I that precise? No. Anyway, Oscar Goodman explains just why he is not running for Governor of Nevada, why he changed to embrace neither political party and states that he has 15 months left as mayor. The question-answer period is *quite* interesting because he makes it clear why he has absolutely no interest in running for Federal Office requiring his physical presence in Washington, D.C. (which was SUPPOSED to remain a District, rather than a STATE). . .Oscar Goodman notes, regarding Washington D.C. — that those people up there don’t even LIKE each other.

    It still comes down to the money. Where is it? Who has it? How can I get it? (Who, what, when, where, how — how much — all questions — and the need for that period or WHOA.)

  4. It’s one thing to accept funding for your constituents that you do not believe they should have. It’s quite another to publicly bash a program, vote against it, privately acknowledge that it’s actually doing a great deal of good, and then run around your state or district handing out big “Publishers Clearing House” type checks and cutting ribbons for projects, giving the impression to your constituents that it was somehow due to your hard work as their elected official that has brought them the wonderful fruits of your efforts – when in truth, if you’d had your way, there would be no check, and no project, and no new jobs, and no ribbon to cut.

    If you’re willing to bring the federal government to a halt, and stop all business from being conducted for “principles that you cannot compromise,” then you really should have those principles and the courage of your convictions. When you do it solely to deny your opponents any semblance of success, even when you believe that success would be good for the country, then you have neither.

    There’s a word for that. It escapes me at the moment.

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