Can a Voter Actually say: “I Voted for this Official”


Summer’s coming on and school’s going to be out soon, but shouldn’t these children remain in class a bit longer?

That’s the feeling I receive when a handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.

Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.

Here’s what appeared in an article entitled: “GOP governors consider turning down stimulus money” published by AP Online News Service.  The following excerpts are from this article, from which I have taken the liberty upon myself to high light certain passages I feel are of importance.

GOP governors consider turning down stimulus money
Melinda Deslatte
Associated Press Writer
Feb 18, 9:37 PM EST


U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, said the governors – some of whom are said to be eyeing White House bids in 2012 – are putting their own interests first.

“No community or constituent should be denied recovery assistance due to their governor’s political ideology or political aspirations,” Clyburn said Wednesday.

In fact, governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language Clyburn included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object.

He inserted the provision based on the early and vocal opposition to the stimulus plan by South Carolina’s Republican governor, Mark Sanford. But it also means governors like Sanford and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal – a GOP up-and-comer often mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate – can burnish their conservative credentials, knowing all the while that their legislatures can accept the money anyway.

Jindal said he, like Perry and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, is concerned about strings attached to the money even though his state faces a $1.7 billion budget shortfall next year.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner, for example, cited concerns that accepting unemployment money from the stimulus package would force states to pay benefits to people who wouldn’t meet state requirements to receive them.

In Idaho, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said he wasn’t interested in stimulus money that would expand programs and boost the state’s costs in future years when the federal dollars disappear – a worry also cited by Jindal and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

A spokesman said Sanford, the new head of the Republican Governors Association, is looking at the stimulus bill to figure out how much of it he can control.

“We’re going through a 1,200-page bill to determine what our options are,” Spokesman Joel Sawyer said. “From there, we’ll make decisions.”

But state Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler says Sanford’s hesitation is driven by his political ambition rather than the best interests of a state that had the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate in December.

“He’s so ideological,” Fowler said. “He would rather South Carolina do without jobs than take that money, and I think he’s looking for a way not to take it.”

Not all Republican governors are reticent about using the federal cash.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist lobbied for the stimulus plan and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has embraced it as he looks to close a $2.6 billion deficit in the state’s budget this year. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has already figured the money into his state’s budget.

Pearson Cross, a political scientist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said fiscally conservative governors may be able to give themselves political cover by turning down small portions of the stimulus money, like health care dollars requiring a state match, that they might not fully use anyway.

But in the end, he said, they will likely take most of the available money because their states need it so badly.

“Ideology usually takes second place for governors,” he said. “And that’s going to mean that most governors are going to go ahead and take the money even though they have misgivings about it.”

Update 20 Feb 09:

Clyburn: Opposition to stimulus is slap in face

from AP Top Headlines At Noon EDT by By PAGE IVEY

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The highest-ranking black congressman said Thursday that opposition to the federal stimulus package by southern GOP governors is “a slap in the face of African-Americans.”…


2 Responses to “Can a Voter Actually say: “I Voted for this Official””

  1. 1 Alexander
    February 19, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    The AP is a notoriously biased information source. I suggest you consider another one, like FOX.

  2. February 19, 2009 at 9:16 PM

    I don’t know much about how the stimulus* will actually work out in the details, but it seems to me to be reasonable that GOP governors would at least threaten to decline the money from the bill. The money will come with plenty of strings attached and the cost of implementing the infusion of the moeny into the actual economy will be many times what the results will yield in real dollars and cents. That said, I think those governors ought to look at refusing all money from the federal government as a better place to start building an independent economy that is more likely to weather recessions better and turn back government intervention.

    There are numerous examples of liberals “moral superiority” grandstanding in this article. Enough to make it seem like they aren’t grandstanding at all but just stating the truth (as they want you to believe it). It is sickening.

    I’m with Alexander. Check out a different news source. Of course, that won’t necessarily help with critical thinking skills.

    * Barbitulus, as I prefer to call it considering how long it’s going to take to actually make an impact on the economy and the sedative affect it will have on people who accept help from Nanny Sam.

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