- BIKES AND PRESIDENTIAL SOUNDBITES: Rep. Steve Womack is working against them.
Within the space of a day freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Womack scored double headlines for his budget-cutting work. You decide if he deserves applause or a swift kick.
• The Republican budget cutting plan included stripping $15 million in transportation spending approved last year for a 40-mile bike trail between Fayetteville and Bella Vista in Womack's district. Walton money was scheduled to match the federal grant. Womack said he wouldn't fight to restore the money. He said that if the project was worthwhile and enjoyed broad support, some other source of money would be found locally. We're waiting.
• Womack was quoted in the Huffington Post as saying he was prepared to offer legislation to cut an estimated $5 million used to buy and maintain teleprompters for President Barack Obama. Nobody offered similar in the deficit-ridden days of George W. Bush, that we can recall. Somebody asked if Womack would volunteer to wave the big-letter "idiot cards" in front of the president in place of electronic help. Having grabbed some headlines, Womack dropped the idea saying he couldn't get a firm figure on savingts. He said he'd made his point. What, that he's an opportunistic headline hunter who'll throw out fantasy numbers for publicity's sake?