Monday, October 18, 2010

Standing On Principle…And Interest

Stories like this have been popping up in the blogosphere for a while now:

Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful “trillion-dollar spending sprees” that was “more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs.”

But that didn’t stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down.

Sessions wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in February urging him to give “full and fair consideration” to the affluent city’s request for $81 million for a rail project, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. His letter suggested that the project would create jobs, undercutting his public arguments against the stimulus.

When asked about his letter, Sessions defended both of the positions he has taken.

“What I have not done is allow my strong, principled objection to the bill to prevent me from asking federal agencies for their full consideration of critical infrastructure and competitive grant projects for North Texas when asked to do so by my constituents,” he said.

Sessions was hardly alone. Scores of Republicans and conservative Democrats who voted against the stimulus law subsequently wrote letters seeking funds. They include tea party favorites such as freshman Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former presidential candidates.

Translation: We’re all flaming hypocrites.

What, you didn’t actually think that they wouldn’t ask for the money, did you?