Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama's political tyranny in full view-- any opposition will not be tolerated

Obama's Transportation Secretary gives a straight answer -- the seventh time he's asked

By: David FreddosoCommentary Staff Writer07/26/09 10:31 AM EDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had to be asked the same question seven times in Friday's House Budget Committee hearing before he would finally give a straight answer.Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., was grilling LaHood about a letter he had sent Arizona's governor, after an Arizona Republican senator questioned the effectiveness of the stimulus package. The letter was widely viewed as a political threat in retaliation for criticism of the stimulus.On July 12, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., had suggested in a television interview that the stimulus should be cancelled, with the remaining unspent funds returned to the Treasury. LaHood, a former Republican member of Congress who joined Obama's administration in January, responded the following day with a letter to Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, effectively threatening to cut off some $521 million in Arizona projects funded by the stimulus package.Kyl had "publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren't presently under way," wrote LaHood. "If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know."Garrett's questioning on Friday revolved around the administration's hypersensitivity to criticism of its $787 billion stimulus package, of which only $67 billion had been spent as of July 17."Should I have any concerns that I even raise this?" asked Garrett. "That I would get a letter sent to Governor Corzine of New Jersey saying, 'Well, the Congressman voted against the stimulus, and so therefore we're wondering whether you want to receive the money?'""Congressman, the letter was not sent because of anybody's vote," said LaHood. "It was sent because of a statement that was made on national television about 'maybe we should send the money back,' and I wanted to check with the elected official in the state that has responsibility...We don't base our decisions on how people vote."You do base them on public statements, apparently," came Garrett's acid reply.Garrett then asked LaHood whether anyone in the administration had put him up to writing the letter. In fact, he had to repeat the question seven times and make an appeal to the chairman -- "Mr. Chairman, would the witness please answer the question?" -- before LaHood would answer."No," LaHood finally replied. The video of the questioning is available here.

No comments: