First there were stories, thanks to the enterprising Watchdog.org reporters (Disclosure: I worked with them on the Massachusetts election last week), about the Recovery Act funds that went to phantom Congressional districts. Then came their reports about money going to non-existent zip codes.
Now they are discovering stimulus funds going to phantom…recipients?! From the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s Scott St. Clair:
According to Recovery.gov, two contracts totaling $210,381 resulting in the creation of zero jobs were awarded in the Kirkland, Wash. Zip Code of 98034. Per the site, both were awarded to Lancs Industries, a manufacturer of protective clothing, containment devices and other safety products.This came as news to Tim Wiest, Lancs’ president, however.
Wiest said that his company sells to firms doing work at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Those firms have used stimulus funds obtained through Department of Energy contracts to buy his company’s products. But Lancs itself does not have any contractual relationship with the U.S. government, he said.
“I am uncomfortable with the appearance that stimulus funds are coming to us directly,” he said. Yet the clear implication from the Web site is that is what’s happening.
Wiest wanted it understood that the implication is false. Lancs Industries has “no contract with any federal agency through which we receive federal stimulus funds,” he said.
Can you get any more economically stimulating than $210,000 to no business in order to create no jobs?