You remember Rebate-gate, right?
It’s the story from last week where we learned Ohio spent their federal stimulus dollars on a project that funded an off-shore calling center in Central America, thereby taking away jobs from Americans.
When asked for comment he stated, “perhaps we could have done a better job vetting the company.”
No kidding, Ted.
That’s why soon after the stimulus was passed in February of last year, Minority Leader Boehner and other U.S. House Ohio Republicans sent a letter to Strickland calling for the following:
Well, interestingly enough, today Ted Strickland did something about it. He announced an executive order that “prohibits the expenditure of public funds for services provided offshore”.
The question? Why now?
After all, the Governor’s Director of Development, Lisa Patt-McDaniel, knew about this mess all the way back in March. So shouldn’t this executive order have been issued then?
Could it be because Strickland didn’t care until the problem was publicized by the media? Of course it is.
The fact is this: Strickland should have shown leadership and created the oversight board as recommended by Boehner.
Ohio was given $8.2 billion in taxpayer dollars to spend on a multitude of projects and programs. Clearly, the Controlling Board was incapable, for whatever reason, of providing the oversight necessary to ensure this outsourcing would never happen. If they were capable, this never would have happened. A dedicated and bipartisan oversight panel, accompanied with certified public accountants and auditors, could have given the due diligence necessary to ensure our money wasn’t wasted.
Strickland’s executive order solves one problem. It’s a bandaid on a gaping wound. The fact is, there are innumerable other possible scenarios where stimulus dollars could be misused. Strickland needs to show some ability to cooperate and recognize the proper use of our tax dollars outweighs the pride he is trying to show in refusing such an oversight panel.
UPDATE: A friend brings up a good point….where was Lee Fisher on all this? He was the Jobs Czar at the Department of Development until February of 2009. He claimed he left a “capable team in place”.
Clearly, he did not.
How well Ohio spends $8.2 billion in federal taxpayer dollars is the business of the next U.S. Senator representing the Buckeye State. Fisher owes us a comment.