I actually pointed this out here at LGF the day after the debate, as one of the most outrageous lies told by Mitt Romney.
No other way to say it: when Paul Ryan was asked on a radio show whether he ever sought or accepted money for Wisconsin from the Obama stimulus program, he flat-out lied.
BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan denied requesting stimulus money for his home state of Wisconsin in a 2010 interview on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. …
But months after Congress approved the nearly $800 billion package, he was trying to steer money under the program to companies in his home state.
Rep. Ryan wrote letters in 2009 to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis seeking stimulus grant money for two Wisconsin energy conservation companies. One of those companies, the nonprofit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp, later received $20.3 million from the Energy Department to help homes and businesses improve energy efficiency, according to federal records.
But, in a October 28, 2010 interview on WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Nightside with Dan Rea, Ryan denied ever seeking stimulus money.
“I assume you voted against the stimulus and I’m just curious if you accepted any money in your district,” a caller, who identified himself as Joe from Stoughton, asked.
Listen: Paul Ryan on Nightside with Dan Rea 10/28/10
“No, I’m not one (of those) people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” Ryan responded.
Ryan’s actions in Congress and as chairman of the House Budget Committee have been drawing fresh scrutiny since he was named last weekend as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate.
A Ryan spokesman, Brendan Buck, noted the congressman’s office’s previous explanations that he was “providing a legitimate constituent service.” The Wall Street Journal reported Ryan’s efforts to secure stimulus money two years ago.
“If Congressman Ryan is asked to help a Wisconsin entity applying for existing federal grant funds, he does not believe flawed policy should get in the way of doing his job,” Ryan’s office said then.
Ryan also sent three letters to Chu in October 2009 seeking stimulus money for the Energy Center of Wisconsin, another nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency. The company later received $190,000 in stimulus money to conduct research on geothermal heating and $50,000 more to develop a training curriculum for students at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
At the bottom of the Republican Party lies a profound cynicism — the type of cynicism that allows someone like Michele Bachmann to build a political career by denouncing the very same government services she eagerly seeks to exploit for herself: Michele Bachmann Repeatedly Sought Stimulus, EPA, Other Government Funds.
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama’s stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.” Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House.
Taken as a whole, the letters underscore what Bachmann’s critics describe as a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker. Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband’s business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party’s most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role — at least in her life and district.
The new head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, is famous (or infamous, depending where you stand) for throwing this chunk of red meat to the angry right:
if you’re pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-G.M. bailout, pro-AIG, well you know guess what, you might not be a Republican.
Blatant right wing hypocrisy has become so commonplace that it’s no surprise at all to discover that Priebus himself worked at a law firm that helps clients secure federal stimulus funds.
Priebus is a partner for the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In February 2009, his firm announced the creation of a ‘Stimulus Legislation Team’, of which Priebus was listed as a member.
One of the client alerts co-authored by Priebus describes the team’s role as such:
“…The Michael Best Stimulus and Economic Recovery Team is prepared to assist you in understanding the implications and in developing and implementing a strategy to secure the benefits of this unprecedented legislation. Specifically, we will assist you to identify opportunities, prepare appropriate proposals and make targeted contacts to secure funds.”
Can you say, “massive, overweening chutzpah?”
With 14 million Americans still out of work, Congress is seeking $550 million for eight new aircraft that would increase the fleet the Air Force uses to ferry senators and representatives to war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan as well less dangerous locations like London, Paris and the Galapagos.
No question, congressional travel is on the upswing. Overseas trips by lawmakers has increased almost tenfold since 1995. Last year, members of Congress spent $13 million in travel expenses, not counting airfare. So the Obama administration requested $220 million in its budget to buy four passenger jets for congressional use, including two that are currently being leased by the Air Force.
For some reason, the House Appropriations Committee thought that wasn’t enough. So just before lawmakers left for August recess, the House doubled the order to eight aircraft, at a cost of $550 million.
UPDATE at 8/11/09 12:42:39 pm:
After the plan was exposed, House Dems decided it didn’t really look good, so they reduced the order by half: Murtha Says VIP Jets Will Be Cut From $636.3 Billion Measure.
Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) — U.S. House leaders say they will drop plans to purchase four more VIP jets than were requested by the Department of Defense to transport government officials on foreign trips.
Representative John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who leads the House defense appropriations subcommittee, said he would cut the additional aircraft from legislation that would provide $636.3 billion for the U.S. military in fiscal 2010.
“If the Department of Defense does not want these aircraft, they will be eliminated from the bill,” Murtha said in a statement issued yesterday.
That’s much better. So they’re only spending $220 million now. A measly little $220 million for private jets. Who could begrudge them that?
Here’s the list of eligible clunkers, as Congress pumps $2 billion more into the program: Full List Of Disqualified Cars Under Cash For Clunkers Refresh.
Andrew Malcolm reports that the Obama administration has quietly dropped “creating jobs” as the criteria for that $3.4-billion Energy Department project.
Hot Air readers are freaking out over this post by Ed Morrissey, claiming that the Obama administration is “silencing criticism” of the stimulus bill and violating America’s First Amendment rights: White House: We’ll cut off criticism of Porkulus.
Here’s the post at the White House website on this issue: Update on Recovery Act Lobbying Rules: New Limits on Special Interest Influence.
This restriction applies to people who are commenting on stimulus claims. They’re not allowed to communicate with government representatives responsible for a particular claim unless they put it in writing, after the claim is filed but before the money is awarded. This is obviously intended to prevent corruption, and make sure that any claims for stimulus money are completely above board. The purpose is to stop unscrupulous people from promising graft or bribes in an oral, off the record communication.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s a responsible move, to prevent abuse of stimulus funds.
Can we please stop hyperventilating now?
UPDATE at 5/30/09 8:24:19 pm:
Craziest blog post yet on this non-issue: Pamela “Atlas Shrieks” Geller is calling for an “insurrrection.” [sic]
Is America going to take this laying down. This is coup.Smooth, slick and Obamafied but America is most certainly underattack from within. We need an insurrrection. We must fight this, the pussified Republicans are stuck in some impotent inertia. We need Washington! Jefferson! Paine! Calling all Americans!
When Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took a cheap shot at the volcano monitoring program, I winced. Just what we need, another ignorant anti-science comment from a Republican spokesperson—and on top of it, this came from a spokesperson who promoted and signed a stealth creationism bill.
Less than a month later Alaska’s Mount Redoubt exploded in a massive eruption, sending clouds of superheated smoke and ash 11 miles into the atmosphere, and airplane pilots were very grateful for those volcano monitors Bobby Jindal slammed: Will Jindal Eat Words On Volcano Funding?
The Alaska Volcano Observatory was ready with warnings to flight officials when Alaska’s Mount Redoubt blew, sending potentially deadly ash clouds north of Anchorage.
Readings from seismometers and atmospheric pressure sensors alerted scientists that an eruption had occurred. Weather radar confirmed the presence of an ash cloud that ascended more than 11 miles above sea level.
“Without instruments in the ground, we would not have been able to tell you this was coming,” said John Power, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
Volcano monitoring became a political issue when Jindal gave the Republican response to President Obama’s message to Congress on the economic stimulus package. Jindal said the package was “larded with wasteful spending,” including $140 million for volcano monitoring.
Is it time for The American Tea Party?