November 18th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Join Date: 03-09-07
Location: Memphis, Mi
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Stimulating! Ten New Congressional Districts in Michigan!
This includes Michigan. In its first installment of promised quarterly online reports, Recovery.gov lists 10 new districts to the Great Lake State's phalanx of 15 U.S. House seats (the center column, by the way, is the number of "new jobs" reported):
31st congressional district 0
$1,650,89000 congressional district 26
$880,85521st congressional district 17
$810,00022nd congressional district 0
$722,19216th congressional district 1.5
$465,89828th congressional district 0
$418,18623rd congressional district 2
$214,84383rd congressional district 1
$156,82060th congressional district
$56,32837th congressional district 2
Interestingly, a closer look at the stimulus awards in these non-existent congressional districts (see spreadsheet here) includes a community policing grant of $29,507 for the city of Midland, in congressional district "00." Midland is home to the Mackinac Center, whose office building is within a stone's throw of the district headquarters of Congressman Dave Camp. Rep. Camp serves Michigan's 4th Congressional district. Stimulus awards totaling more than $810,000 reported in the "21st" district were given to recipients in Mount Pleasant, Alma and Shepherd, cities which are also technically in Rep. Camp's district. (Incidentally, one person representing more than one congressional district may be a constitutionally questionable practice.)
"I guess we know why Michigan's unemployment rate is going up despite all these claims of new jobs. They're being created out of thin air," said Camp's spokesman, Sage Eastman.
Judging by some of the comments included by the local-level folks, inputting this information was not easy, many getting their reporting instructions at the last minute. Writes one seemingly frustrated award recipient in Rapid River:
"Impossible registration process. Unable to reach help desk in less than 2 hours, registration process ultimately took an extra week to accomplish."And this entry from a recipient in Sand Lake:
"Process to register was not clear. We did not even know we received ARRA funds until October 7, 2009. Each registration area required 24 - 48 hours to activate. This entire process is convoluted and should have been a seamless process. Had some type of notification been sent when the funds were awarded the report would not have been late. There were many technical error(s) with the registration process."According to Watchdog.org, the federal recovery Web site operates on an $84 million budget. One would think such hefty price tag would ensure more accurate reporting. Instead, it says nearly $6.4 billion was used to "create or save" fewer than 30,000 jobs in these 440 "phantom" congressional districts. That's almost $225,000 per job.
Just don't tell us we need to fill those congressional seats.