by Max Brantley
First came a Twitter from Sarah Huckabee, Rep. John Boozman's campaign manager:
18 months & $787 billion later all @blanche4senate has 2 show 4 her stimulus bill n Lake Village is a new cop car? Hmmm...
Then came the e-mail from Katie Laning Niebaum, Sen. Blanche Lincoln's spokeswoman:
Congressman Boozman was in Lake Village today. Did he visit the police department, which was able to hire a new officer and purchase a new car with funds from the Recovery Act he voted against? Did he meet the three dispatchers the city was able to hire with Recovery Act funds? Did he check out the security equipment and radios the city was able to purchase with Recovery Act funds? While in Chicot County, did he drive on Highway 65 where new improvements are underway with the help of Recovery Act funds? Did he visit any fish farms receiving assistance provided by the Recovery Act due to losses associated with high feed input costs? The catfish and aquaculture industry is the lifeblood of many Arkansas communities, providing thousands with jobs and contributing almost a billion dollars to our state’s economy.
Just last week, Lake Village was awarded $749,000 in recovery act dollars for energy-efficient renovations for the new City Hall. Lake Village is just one of the 41 Arkansas communities awarded energy-efficiency grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Governor Beebe has said these grants will “help our local governments operate at lower costs through energy efficiency, a benefit that will continue long after these funds are spent.”
The Recovery Act is making a real difference in Lake Village, providing residents with resources for infrastructure improvements, economic development projects, small business investment, and enhanced safety measures. As a supporter of the Recovery Act, Sen. Lincoln is working to ensure that it benefits Arkansas communities and working families. She will continue to fight for Arkansas’s rural communities, which depend on federal investment to provide many basic services for residents.
As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Lincoln oversees the United States Department of Agriculture—the largest investor in our rural communities. In 2008 alone, USDA provided more than $85 million in grants and loans for Chicot County’s farmers, small businesses, and communities. Sen. Lincoln is utilizing the Ag Committee Chairmanship to bring new investment into the Arkansas economy and give our small businesses opportunities to create jobs right here at home.