McCain-Coburn stimulus report gets it wrong
Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn received some attention this week for their report on 100 stimulus projects around the U.S. that “give taxpayers the blues.” Their aides, presumably, gathered information on projects that are wasteful, mismanaged or destroying jobs instead of creating them.
Two Virginia projects were included in the report. One checks out and seems to have its facts straight. The other…well, I’m guessing someone wanted to go home early without making a few necessary phone calls.
According to the report, Washington and Lee High School in Montross squandered $22,000 on a new concession stand, instead of maintaining core building functions. Says the report:
“Virginia has a leaky roof and poorly functioning HVAC system, which is why the school was provided resources for . . . a new concession stand? That was the reaction of at least one local member of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, Russ Culver, who noted that, ‘the concession stand is not a necessity as far as educating the county’s children.’”
The only problem is that Mr. Culver DID vote for building a new concession stand–but only after funding had already been found for the leaking roof and the HVAC. In a phone conversation Thursday, he said that while he expressed initial concern for the project, he approved it after school officials made their case and after the county board had already appropriated money for the maintenance projects.
Despite some fact-twisting here and there, the report seems to have waded through the agenda swamp to some solid ground. CNBC highlighted this week the other Virginia project included in the report: Lancaster resident Ron Edwards, who says boaters visiting his river-front restaurant have been blocked by the fallout from a dredging project.
To read more of this piece by Paige Winfield Cunningham, visit Old Dominion Watchdog here.
Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.
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