Watching Eye on The Republican Rejection Front
There are now five Republican governors involved in the rejection front. They are: Sanford of South Carolina, Jindal of Louisiana, Barbour of Mississippi, Perry of Texas and Bob Riley of Alabama according to USA Today. Where they come together is rejecting Federal assistance for unemployment benefits, and also for education and health expenditures. California's Republican state legislators refused Monday to extend unemployment benefits. The rejectionists nationwide are profiled by Human Events the magazine associated with the former Conservative ideologue in chief William F. Buckley.
Sanford had asked the Obama administration for a waiver so he could use all the money to pay down the state's debt, thereby turning tax payers' cash over to his friends in the financial world. The White House refused this ploy. Stanford's fundamentlist recalcitrance is threatening at least 4,700 jobs in his state, according to legislative officials.
Jindal, like the Texan Perry, has agreed to accept the stimulus, but wants latitutude over how he uses the money. Jindal is in the middle of a state budget fight, and he is proposing drastic cuts in state funding for education and health, while he wants to refuse Federal unemployment funds. What a pig! With one hand throws people out of work, and cuts services on which his citizens depend, and with the other he refuses offered financial help. He is provoking unrest and opposition among those affected. This report in the Times-Picayune profiles Jindal's amibitions and national fund-raising acitvities, and at the end reviews his budget cuts in the state, 8% off the education budget, 5% off health and the closure of facilities like the Adolescents' Hospital.
Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson led a meeting of hundreds at the Jackson Medical Mall Monday to discuss the stimulus and what local folks working through their insitutions, like towns, education systems, chambers of commerce, can do against the fundamentalist rejection front. Here are two accounts from the scene. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo participated in a Lousiana Miunicipal Association meeting in Monroe on the stimulus. The Alabama Chamber of Commerce organized a meeting to get out a report. More than 300 attended a meeting in Arlington, Texas, according to the Star-Telegram. State Representative Lon Burnham wrote an op-ed in the Star-Telegram dissecting aspects of Perry's rejection of the Federal program.
Sanford meanwhile is considering how to extendhis stalling tactics, and Tyeoshema's schoo lis still without funds for repairs and reconstruction. So much for fundamentalist orthodoxy.