by Max Brantley
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford takes a lick from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for good reason. He's in line for hypocrite of the week for putting out a newsletter touting a $400,000 handout for a Jonesboro convention center from an agency, the Delta Regional Authority, that he's on record in support of cutting.
Sen. John Boozman has perfected this two-step previously. THEIR projects are efficient and vital. It's everybody else's projects that are governmnent waste.
Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01) is at it again, using taxpayer dollars to tout a program that he voted to cut. Earlier this year Congressman Crawford said cutting the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) seemed “reasonable.” But now Congressman Crawford is using taxpayer dollars to tout the Delta Regional Authority’s plan to invest $400,000 in Jonesboro to build a new convention center.
“One minute Congressman Crawford wants to cut funding for the Delta Regional Authority, then he turns around and uses his congressional office to tout it,” said Adam Hodge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Having railed against government spending and then spending more than any other Arkansas congressman on campaign style mailers, Congressman Crawford is no stranger to hypocrisy. This is just the latest example that Congressman Crawford will say anything to get elected and he cannot be trusted.”
Background: Crawford Used Government Resources to Tout Funding from the Delta Regional Authority.
In an email sent from his congressional office to 1st district constituents, Rick Crawford said, “Just yesterday, I was able to announce the Delta Regional Authority’s plan to invest $400,000 towards the construction of the Northeast Arkansas Convention Center in Jonesboro. The planned convention center project includes plans for hotels and restaurants. All told, the new center will create some 400 jobs in Jonesboro.” [Crawford Washington Update, 10/21/11]
Crawford Voted to Cut Delta Regional Authority Funding. On February 19, 2011, Rick Crawford voted for a budget that would have cut $7.3 million from the Delta Regional Authority’s budget compared to 2010 enacted levels. The vote was on HR 1, a continuing resolution meant to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2011. [HR 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; House Committee on Appropriations Press Release, 2/11/11; House Appropriation Committee’s List of Potential Cuts Included in HR1, 2/11/11]
Crawford Said Cuts to Delta Regional Authority Were “Reasonable.” “Members of the Arkansas congressional delegation said Friday that the House was poised to pass legislation that would make spending cuts throughout the federal government […] Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, said the proposed cuts were a ‘reasonable goal,’ given what he called a tight budget climate […] the Delta Regional Authority, a federal agency that provides economic development, health and infrastructure grants in poor counties in an eight-state region that includes Arkansas, would see a 10 percent cut in its budget.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 2/19/11]
Crawford’s Republican Study Committee Proposed Eliminating the Delta Regional Authority. The Republican Study Committee recommended eliminating the Delta Regional Authority. Rich Crawford is member of the Republican Study Committee. [Southeastern Farm Press, 2/8/11; Republican Study Committee Members, accessed 10/18/11]
Crawford Spent Nearly $60,000 of Taxpayers’ Money on Mass Mailings. From April-June 2011, Crawford spent $59,102.26 on color taxpayer mass mailings. Crawford distributed 108,292 pieces at a cost of roughly $.17 a household. Crawford spent more on mass mailing than any other Arkansas congressman during those months. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, p. 2963, 7/5/11]