Boehner backpedals on stimulus comments
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Plain Dealer Reporter
When U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner told a newscaster Sunday that not a single stimulus-funded road contract in his home state of Ohio had been let, he was wrong.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has OK'd 52 stimulus-funded road and bridge projects at a cost of nearly $84 million.
Boehner told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that in "Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago," as part of the economic recovery package, "there hasn't been a contract let, to my knowledge."
Karl Frisch, senior fellow for Media Matters, a media watchdog group that monitors news reports, said it seemed that Boehner, a Republican from West Chester in southwestern Ohio, might want to be more aware of what's going on in his home state.
Frisch said he also wanted Wallace to have some basic facts on the stimulus spending in Ohio if he's going to interview Boehner on the topic.
"This is something pretty basic," said Frisch. "If you're going to interview someone on stimulus funding, you should know something about it." Media Matters, a nonprofit "progressive research and information center," monitors daily newspapers, Sunday news talk shows, and other media outlets looking for and correcting conservative misinformation.
The aim is to put the spotlight on the media to stop politicians from "twisting the facts to serve their own talking points," Frisch said.
Boehner issued a clarification Monday.
"The entire process has been absurdly slow moving just as Republicans warned it would be when we called for an economic recovery bill based on fast-acting tax relief for small businesses and working families," Boehner said in a statement.
Boehner also claimed that Ohio is one of the last states to let stimulus construction projects, "which is ridiculous." Wallace did not respond to an e-mail.
ODOT spokesman Scott Varner called Boehner's statement "disappointing."
Varner noted that ODOT had just OK'd six more stimulus road projects, which will cost about $43 million.
What. A. Tool. Yeah, maybe checking with your own State DOT first before making sweeping statements like that might actually be worthwhile......just sayin'.
Can we start having a basic IQ test for candidates who want to run for higher office? It really might stave off a great deal of the stupid.