What’s it going to be Gov, “yes” or “no”?

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

There is an interesting provision included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Our accidental governor, Jan Brewer, is going to have to go on the record whether she will accept the federal stimulus money or not. If she declines the stimulus money (an act of political suicide when the state has a $3 billion deficit gap to close), the Legislature can overrule her decision. Some of our ideologically deranged legislators have already said that they would decline the stimulus money because there are federal "strings attached."

This puts Jan Brewer in a box – does she agree to accept the stimulus money and incur the wrath of the ideological extremists in her own party (and draw a primary opponent), or does she stay true to her old form and behave like the ideological extremist she always was when she served in the Legislature and decline the stimulus money, incurring the wrath of Arizona's taxpayers? What is more important Governor: ideological purity and loyalty to the GOP, or doing what is in the best interests of the state of Arizona?

The political reporters who read this blog should be asking the Governor "what's it going to be Gov, "yes" or "no"? Jan Brewer must go on the record. Please publish her response.

From 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, February 19

Four, possibly five Republican governors, each with dreams of being on the presidential ticket in 2012, are talking about not accepting money for projects in their state, money from the stimulus plan.

Putting their national partisan future desires ahead of their constituents‘ bipartisan immediate needs.  To say nothing of the reality gaps, state lawmakers in each case could overrule them and take the money anyway.

The chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, has led this charge among certain GOP governors against the stimulus, quoting, “The spending plan will prove to be an absolute disaster. The bottom line is, it‘s horrible.” Today, Sanford did confess that being against the plan, quote, “doesn‘t preclude taking the money.”

Governor Sanford‘s prior bloviation on this, actually inspired a special provision in the stimulus bill, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn included language that basically forces governors to publicly accept or decline the federal aid. The provision then empowers the state‘s legislature to accept the money even if the governor does not.

So, certain Republican governors can take the time to complain about the so-called “strings” attached to the money even when their states are experiencing crashing shortfalls in balancing their budgets—like Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, his state faces a budget gap of more than $1.5 billion next year. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, quoting, “We need the freedom to say ‘No thanks.‘” And Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

It is no coincidence that many of these governors may be presidential or vice-presidential contenders in 2012 including Governor Palin, who also griped about the stim. “I wish he,” that would be the president, “would veto it and send it back until our lawmakers can read it and know what‘s in it.” We‘re holding our breath on that.

5 responses to “What’s it going to be Gov, “yes” or “no”?

  1. http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/110520.php

    PHOENIX – Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, not the Legislature, gets a direct say in deciding how the state spends some $4.2 billion in federal stimulus money that will be available over the next several years, the Legislature’s budget director told lawmakers Thursday.
    ***
    The federal legislation signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama directs the dollars to states’ governors, not their legislatures, said Richard Stavneak, Joint Legislative Budget Committee staff director.
    ***
    “It is the governor’s to decide how to use this funding,” including how much to spend in which fiscal year, Stavneak said.
    ***
    Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman later said the governor certainly plans to accept federal dollars for state and local transportation projects and is “very hopeful” that increased for funding for health care for the poor will prove useful.

    Said Senseman: “The governor has said it would be irresponsible to not utilize Arizona dollars that are being returned to the taxpayers.”

    However, he said Brewer’s staff was cautiously reviewing the requirements and conditions of various funding streams.

  2. Francine Shacter

    Tsk! Tsk! How come I didn’t hear any quibbling about Federal spending during the last 8 years when federal money flowed like water, a surplus turned into a humongous debt and our new president inherited a mess – not of his making. So, let me see if I get this right – y’know at my age, it is possible to get confused. Monies coming to the States for useful projects like support for PUBLIC education, rebuilding infrastructure – bad. Money coming into the states as defense contracts (Raytheon et al) good. Really??? Bullets (figuratively speaking, that is) are better than books? Really?

  3. I would prefer to not having the feds handing out money (which will always come with strings) but I see no logical or tactical reason why Governor Brewer needs to state that she will or will not accept more federal funds. If she declines it I would love to see what primary opponent actually materializes.

    The Governor neither has to or “must” publicly state what she may do in the future. I don’t recall Governor Napolitano disclosing her possible future actions on bills.

  4. As I think I posted here previously, I called Jan Brewer’s office a few weeks ago and they were extremely wishy washy and had no position on whether they opposed the stimulus or not.

  5. The cynic in me believes that even most of the politicians complaining about the “strings” or posturing to suggest the stimulus should be rejected are actually quite grateful for the package. The GOP is betting that publicly griping about this will win them points if things don’t turn around and will be looked up positively by their base.