Hate the stimulus, love the dollars
Some North Carolina politicians, including U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and Charlotte’s U.S. Rep Sue Myrick, tried to have it both ways, according to an investigation published today by The Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative journalism group.
The elected officials, and dozens of other Republicans and conservative Democrats, voted against the federal stimulus package but later making pitches to federal agencies to bring federal recovery act dollars back to the state, wrote the authors of the report, “Stimulating Hypocrisy: Scores of Recovery Act Opponents Sought Money Out of Public View.”
The report leaned on letters reporters obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Among the requests were letters Myrick sent asking for consideration of energy recovery dollars to pay for several “green” projects in Gaston County and a rail facility in Charlotte. Burr signed on to a letter with the rest of the state’s Congressional delegation asking to encourage replacing an older bridge spanning the Yadkin River on I-85.
The report has a nifty search component, where you can look at the actual letters that North Carolina’s Congressional delegation sent to federal agencies seeking recovery dollars.
It’s this sounds familiar, it’s because it is.
Burr has already weathered criticism from Democratic circles for showing up at two events lauding the recovery act’s projects, one earlier this year at Durham’s Cree, Inc. and the other when he presented $2 million worth of recovery dollars last fall to the Bethlehem (N.C.) Fire Department.