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GOP Governors Spar Over Stimulus Money

By Philip Rucker

As they pore over the federal stimulus bill aimed to help stabilize their teetering state economies, several high-profile Republican governors took to the airwaves this morning and continued to spar over how much stimulus money to accept.

The nation's governors, gathered in Washington this weekend for a semi-annual National Governors Association meeting, are focused on the economy and plans to quickly use President Obama's $787 billion economic recovery legislation to put their residents back to work. The governors will meet with Obama at the White House tomorrow morning, where they plan to discuss the stimulus spending.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said it "could take years from now" for his state's economy to recover and urged calm bipartisanship. He also said Republicans should look beyond political principles and do "what is right for the country right now."

Schwarzenegger, in an interview this morning with George Stephanopolos on ABC's "This Week," likened the state of the economy to a cancer patient. "You want to see this team of doctors around you, have their act together, be very clear and say, 'This is what we need to do,' rather than see a bunch of doctors fighting in front of you and arguing about the treatment," Schwarzenegger said. "I mean, that is the worst thing. It creates insecurity in the patient."

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) sounded similar themes, saying it may be a mistake for the Republican Party to define itself in opposition to the stimulus bill and urged Republicans to give Obama "a shot."

"I think he's on the right track," Crist said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I don't think anybody says this is a perfect bill. I don't. I don't think even President Obama says that. But we've got to do something."

Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) came out swinging against the stimulus bill, saying his state may not accept all of the federal funds, including money for unemployment benefits.

Asked on "FOX News Sunday" why he would reject some funds considering South Carolina has the nation's third-highest unemployment rate, Sanford said: "At times it sounds like the Soviet grain quotas of Stalin's time -- X number of jobs will be created because Washington says so. And that's not the way that jobs get created."

"In many cases, the money that would come to our state comes with substantial strings attached that, frankly, undo a lot of what we're trying to do at the state level," Sanford added.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a rising GOP star, criticized the stimulus bill and said he would accept stimulus money for many projects, including transportation upgrades. But on "Meet the Press," Jindal said Louisiana would not accept money to expand eligibility for unemployment because it ultimately would result in an increase in taxes paid by employers.

"The $100 million we turned down was temporary federal dollars that would require us to change our unemployment laws," Jindal said in explaining his decision. "That would've actually raised taxes on Louisiana businesses.... I don't think it makes sense to be raising taxes on Louisiana businesses during these economically challenging times."

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said his state would follow suit, rejecting the stimulus provision to expand unemployment eligibility. "We want more jobs," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "You don't get more jobs by putting an extra tax on cutting jobs."

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D) of Michigan, one of the nation's hardest-hit states, told CNN's John King that she would happily take stimulus funds that Republican governors reject.

"South Carolina, I'll take your money," Granholm said. "Louisiana, we'll take it. We've got plenty of work here, plenty of jobs that we'd like to create here."

As the Republican governors jockey for position leading their beleaguered party into the next election cycle, three who are seen as potential presidential candidates refused to rule out running for president in 2012.

Asked about running for president, Sanford said, "So is it a plan? Absolutely not. Is it a likelihood? Absolutely not. But I've learned that you never say guaranteed on tomorrow when you don't know tomorrow."

Jindal said he will seek re-election in 2011, but has "no plays beyond that."

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) did not rule out a run, but said he is thinking about running for re-election in 2010 and that if he were to win, his constituents would expect him to serve out a full four-year term. But Pawlenty did say he wanted to "make news right here" by announcing his candidacy for president of his youth soccer association.

By Patricia E. Gaston  |  February 22, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

LOL! You're welcome for the question (too bad you didn't answer it).

Posted by: JakeD | February 23, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

TO: JakeD

Thanks for the question.

The Bush-Cheney DOJ approved the "use" of radiation weaponry on "targeted" but otherwise innocent Americas who have been deemed by over-reaching "intelligence-based policing" as "undesirables", or "dissidents."

The previous administration's covert "programs of personal destruction" continue in force, as we, the unjustly "targeted" and persecuted, can attest.

We are calling on the Obama administration, and especially Atty. Gen. Holder, to right these egregious wrongs and put a stop to an American genocide.

Here's a related story we are sure you will want to check out... since your kindred spirit "mark_in_austin" put us onto it in a "Casablanca Moment" Sunday afternoon:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-k-e-u-humanists-head-london-protest-radiation-weapons

OR (if link is corrupted/disabled):
http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 23, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, my bad it was 6% of the so called economic experts on cable and network TV commenting on the stimulus plan that were actually economists.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_tv_stimululating_stimulus

Posted by: JRM2 | February 23, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Only 4% of the so called economic experts on cable and network TV commenting on the stimulus plan were actually economists.

Looks like the media is more interested in who has the best quip rather than learning from the people who actually study the topics they are covering.

When you take economic advice from scum like Dick Morris or Karl Rove then you are in serious trouble.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 23, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I believe the word you want in that first sentence is "pore", "to read or study with steady attention or application".
Sorry to nit-pick; it was bothering me.

Posted by: jensrushing | February 22, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50:

It's not the BUSH-CHENEY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT anymore. When are you going to realize that Obama is out to get you too?

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Credit where credit is due -
(excuse the pun)

Gov. Jindal passed a measure so that the people of La. can monitor spending. Obama has said he will implement the same type of monitoring.

But I agree Drain You - Jindals' posture, "wondering" if he should take money for jobs, education and infrastructure (in a state that BADLY needs all 3) is strictly for show. No Oscar for this much ham acting!

La. will get the money and Mr. Jindal will then point to the system he has pushed for to monitor and eliminate wasteful spending. Nothing wrong with that.

Ultimately that would make his position identical to Barrack Obamas' and that's not a bad thing either.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 22, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

URGENT TO: ALL GOVERNORS / STAFF (please forward)

RE: Ongoing BUSH-CHENEY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF RADIATION WEAPONRY USE (read: TORTURE)...

...on "TARGETED" U.S. CITIZENS -- including those deemed "UNDESIRABLES" and POLITICAL "DISSIDENTS."


GOVERNORS: Silent, injury- and illness-inducing, potentially lethal "Directed Energy Weapons" are being used by security/intel/law enforcement operatives...

...via their nationwide vigilante "extrajudicial punishment network"...

...to inflict pain upon, and to degrade the health of, YOUR constituents, in YOUR communities.

These covert assaults are facilitated by so-called "organized community gang stalking" units whose citizen vigilantes are recruited from the ranks of federally-funded volunteer organizations; local public safety departments; community policing groups; public safety retirees and government/municipal employees and their families.

It appears this extrajudicial targeting and punishment, justified as "intelligence-based policing," is directed by, and/or enabled by, federal and local officials representing multiple agencies.

WHEN WILL BARACK OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDER RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA, PHILA., NYC, D.C. AND ALL ACROSS AMERICA?

GOVERNORS: Tell President Obama that he must issue an IMMEDIATE series of executive orders banning the Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment vigilante network"...

...and its array of coordinated government "programs of personal financial destruction."

THESE UNCONSTITUTIONAL HUMAN/CIVIL RIGHTS ABUSES USURP LOCAL AUTHORITY AND VIOLATE STATES' RIGHTS.


GOVERNORS -- this methodical social genocide surely has contributed to the mortgage meltdown that spawned the global financial crisis.

The "Truth Commission" is needed.

But first, President Obama and Atty. Gen. Holder, end the crimes against humanity and the unconstitutional abuses of power.

IT IS DAY 34 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU R*E*A*L*L*Y KNOW WHAT YOUR SECURITY MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION NETWORK IS UP TO?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):
http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

racam:

Even Obama admitted that he's out after one term if the economy doesn't improve.

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives are running around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off.


They don't know what to do. They know that everything they believe in, everything that they stand for, got us into this mess. And they know that pulling out of it is going to require everything that they have always railed against.


The one and only one thing they're right about is that the government simply can't continue to spend absurd amounts of money indefinately. But even then, Republicans realize that the 7 trillion dollars that Iraq is going to wind up costing them in the long term (factoring in treating the veterans and amputees of the war) is something that they cheerleaded for for the last eight years. So they know they're in no position to complain.


So what's a loyal, blood oath Republican to do? They obstruct, anything and everything that the govt. tries to do. They know that the democrats will pass the stimulus anyways. They know that a governor (Piyush Jindal) turning down the funds means nothing, since the state legislature can and will accept them regardless. So the only rational choie they see is to whine and complain as loudly and obnoxiously as they can.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 22, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are going to be against anything whether it is good or bad that might be a benefit. That would not bode well with the party now would it? They could care less about the people they are supposed to represent. The party and regaining power is all they care about and that is at any cost. The farther the economy tanks looks like maybe they weren't so bad. No matter is the whole country goes on welfare, the Republicans will be the ones that put it there using Bush economics. No matter who they try to lay the blame on, I for one will always remember it was the Republicans and Bush who did this.

Posted by: racam | February 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Good for Gov. Jindal looking at the long-term implications. If accepting $100 million COSTS more than $100 million down the road, only a fool would take it. Hopefully, Gov. Palin will do the same.

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Hah HAH HAH hah Ah Haha~

This is HILARIOUS!

The governors/states opposing funds on "principle" have been the largest recipients of Federal transfer payments FOR DECADES!

THAT'S redistribution of wealth comrades!

These hypocritical have-nots always have their hands out.

Here are the facts:

http://www.nemw.org/taxburd.htm

In 2005:

South Carolina got $1.35 back for every dollar it paid to the Fed.

Louisiana got $1.85 (before Katrina)
Gov Jindal has spent 1 million dollars to create an online system to allow monitoring of spending (something the President is also asking for)

Mississippi is the biggest loser - $2.02!
Thanks a lot Gov. Barbour - your state already costs us more to carry than any other.

Only two states in the south sent in more revenue than they took - Texas and Florida.

ANd just for fun - Alaska get's $1.85 for every dollar it sends to Washington.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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