Monday, February 18, 2008

AAA on the Tinklenberg Op Ed

AAA over at Residual Forces posted last week on Tinklenberg's Pioneer Press Op Ed.

The righty bloggers see Elwyn's lobbying work as well.
Tinklenberg has become a very successful lobbyist. He has made quite a name for himself helping to secure state and federal dollars for municipal welfare all over Minnesota. Hiawatha, Northstar, and the entire lightrail phenomena are kinda his little baby. He is basically on the payroll for many counties, cities, and townships across Minnesota to help them get other taxpayers to fund their pet projects.

From his Op Ed:
The way to make that shift is to invest in projects that will create good jobs and improve our failing infrastructure. The most recent estimate from the American Society of Civil Engineers is that $1.6 trillion will be needed over a five-year period to rehabilitate the nation's infrastructure. Establishing a long-term development and maintenance plan must become a national priority.

Looking at the most recent estimate from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we find that this report was released in 2005. We find no reference to Elwyn discussing this problem in 05 or 06.
Imagine what a difference some of that "stimulus" money would have made to highways I-94, 35E, 35W, 610, 23 or 55, not to mention the NorthStar, Rush or Red Rock commuter lines.

Stimulus money to those projects would mean an even greater stimulus to Tinklenberg's pocketbook. I count at least 5 projects that Tinklenberg lobbyied for in that group.
In the final analysis, if we are going to add $168 billion to our national debt, it seems to me that it would have been nice to get something tangible to show for it.

Clearly we are worried about our nation's infrastructure. Clearly we are worried about the state of our economy. Clearly we are worrried about the job market.

Keep in mind, Tinklenberg would have voted for this war in Iraq, "based on the information available at the time".

How many billions have we wasted there?

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