We knew that the $787 billion “stimulus” package would stoke political fires but who knew it would create new political domains entirely? As reported in a variety of places (here’s Hot Air and The Heritage Foundation, for 2 examples) the Obama Administration’s recovery.gov web site is showing some truly interesting statistics today. It seems that new Congressional Districts are being reported in States and Territories all over the country. From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Earlier this morning, Sammy Benoit asked me how it felt to live in a much larger Minnesota, with new Congressional districts popping up all over. Any thrill of getting extra representation in Congress got muted by the fact that the Obama administration apparently added more phantom Congressional districts (440) than actually exist now (435), and that they somehow showed $6.4 billion in Porkulus money going to these nonexistent districts. Watchdog.org has tracked down the massive failure to check data at Recovery.gov, the reporting arm of Porkulus for the White House:
Minnesota, Morrissey’s home state, gained 11 districts, Ohio and New Mexico each got 10. With growth like that, I figured I’d better check to see how the Old Dominion’s holding up:
The above snapshot is a piece of the overview for Virginia. Click on it for the whole screenshot and click here for the page itself. The bottom line? Virginia has 11 Congressional Districts. According to recovery.gov, we’ve picked up numbers 12, 13, 17, 21, 25, 26, 29, 36, 51, 79, 98, and the interestingly named “00″ for an additional 12 districts, a 109% increase. And all of this before the redistricting process even gets underway!
I’d like to take a brief moment to nominate myself for one of the open seats – let’s just say the 12th District since it’s next in line – and commit right now to the wise expenditure of the $2.26 million in stimulus funds sent to that district. I promise you I’ll be a good custodian of those taxpayer funds. Much like the custodians of the database being used to report what funds went to what districts. I’m as curious as you are to find out what industries are actually in the 12th District that we were able to generate a whole 5 jobs and I can assure you that I’ll hold a closed-to-the-public town hall meeting to discuss that as soon as I can.
Seriously, databases get garbage introduced into them on occasion and I’m sure it’s some data crunching error being reported here. The problem with this, however, is that good database administrators build validation into their systems to keep someone from putting a non-existent region into the data. As has been reported, DC is showing 35 Congressional Districts in this overview and we know for a fact that they have none. A good database would never have permitted a district with DC as its state to be entered, let alone reported. It’s sloppy and amateur to see something like this and these are the guys swearing to us that they can be trusted with the really big numbers and important projects. Not looking good, fellas. I would imagine this will appear in the list of Obamateurisms over at Hot Air this week, and well it should.