by Max Brantley
Ken Aden of Russellville, who's announced as a Democratic candidate to oppose Third District Republican Congressman Steve Womack, faces the steepest of hills and longest of odds. But I like his news release today about Womack's support for the "shell game" of requiring cuts in spending on job program before he'll approve disaster relief for those in need. Reps. Tim Griffin and Rick Crawford are in on that same shakedown. I'd guess Aden's got help from the national party on the following release, but it's not much different than Republicans, whose slogans and speeches are mass-produced in Grover Norquist's talking point factory.
KEN ADEN RELEASE
Democratic Congressional Candidate Ken Aden today called on Congressman Steve Womack (R-Rogers) to stand up for Arkansas families and reject any legislation which will trade off disaster relief funding for job creation programs.
Campaigning in Hector in advance of a town hall meeting there Thursday evening, Aden (D-Russellville) said Womack shouldn't give in to the shell game being conducted by extremist, Tea Party Republicans.
"Saying that we must trade vital funding for job creation programs for funding for disaster relief is nothing more than a shell game to advance an extremist agenda that will harm our District and its residents," Aden said. "In this economy, job creation must be a priority, and so must helping Americans and those in Arkansas recover from natural disasters," Aden said.
"I find it disturbing that Congressman Womack believes it is appropriate to say that, any time we have a natural disaster, we have to cut other vital government programs to help disaster victims. It is unconscionable," he said. "If this type of extremism became public policy, it would put disaster funding for areas such as those in western Arkansas that were hard-hit by tornadoes earlier this year at the whim of Congressional politics," he continued.
Aden said Womack's vote—had the legislation passed— would jeopardize 39,000 jobs in nine states that were either created or maintained as a result of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.
He also noted that failure to compromise on the issue a continuing resolution to provide a short-term extension to fund government operations through November 18 could result in another government shutdown if an agreement isn't reached by September 30.
"Congressman Womack and his buddies in the 'Shutdown Caucus' seem to want to do everything possible to force a government shutdown, including trying to force reasonable members of Congress to decide between disaster relief and jobs for their constituents. That's unacceptable," he continued.
Aden noted that, if the government were forced to shutdown as a result of Womack's and his colleagues' failure to reach reasonable compromise on government spending, thousands of 3rd District residents would be cut off from necessary government services ranging from student loans for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans to receiving Social Security Benefits.