By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist (Reprinted from Current Newspapers of Atlantic County, 11/29/2006.)
This year’s election is over.?? But politicians are already? buying votes for the next one.?? The Monday before Thanksgiving, Atlantic City Councilwoman Joyce Mollineaux (Democrat) handed out 900 “free” frozen turkeys to her Third Ward constituents.??? The previous week, Congressman Frank LoBiondo (Republican) announced a “gift” of $114,000 in federal funds to the Germania Fire Company #2 in Galloway Township.?? Both events were reported by our daily newspaper, The Atlantic City Press.?(For more about federal grants to local fire departments, click here for reprint of “Firetrucks and Federalism” published on 6/28/2006.)
The Press?article on the turkey giveaway in Atlantic City?was fair and balanced.?? It?not only reported the event, but it also probed who paid for the turkeys, and how?the councilwoman’s disgraced predecessor, Craig Callaway and his brother Jihad were involved.
But the Atlantic City Press article on the $114,000 giveaway in Galloway Township contained nothing but?praise for Congressman LoBiondo.??? But then again, the article about LoBiondo’s vote buying operaation?was not written by a newspaper reporter.?? It was written by Jason Galanes, the $52,000 per year “press secretary” for Congressman LoBiondo.??? One Monday, November 13, Mr. Galanes prepared a one page statement about the federal funds giveaway to all newspapers, and radio and TV stations in the area, and two days later, that statement appeared almost word for word as a news article in The Atlantic City Press! Click here to see for yourself!
?The statement was titled: “LoBiondo Announces First Federal Funding Grant to Germania Fire Company.” It said that? the $114,000 grant from the “Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program” would replace the 15 year old air packs already owned by the department.?? The statement added that since the 2001 creation of the federal program (BEFORE September 11), 98 fire departments in LoBiondo’s district got a total of $12.1 million in these grants.?? And it noted? that “for the last five years, Congressman LoBiondo?s office has hosted local seminars for area fire departments to highlight the benefit of this grant program”.
?Similar statements were submitted and published for each of the 98 grants during the past five years, as well as countless other giveaways for everything from pumping sand on beaches to money for the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.??
?This year 403 incumbents sought re-election to Congress.?? More than 95% of them were re-elected.?? More than two thirds of Americans disapprove of the job that is done by Congress.??? But more than sixty percent of Americans believe that THEIR member of Congress is doing a good job.?
Now you see why.? Our daily newspaper criticized?Third Ward Councilwoman Joyce Mollineaux and her predecessor Craig Callaway, for giving out?”free” turkeys only once a year.???? But Congressman LoBiondo is praised every time he “gives” thousands of dollars of federal grants several times each month.???? Mollineau and Callaway use money from their supporters to buy their turkeys.?? Congressman LoBiondo uses our tax money to pay for his giveaways.?? And since the federal government doesn?t collect enough taxes to pay for all these giveaways, he borrows money against our social security trust money and our kids’ earnings.
Finally, while a reporter from our local newspaper writes the story on the turkeys,? stories about giveaways by Congress are written by the taxpayer funded government employees hired as ?press secretaries? for our Congressmen!? All 435 Congressmen throughout the nation do the same thing.
?Each year, thousands of fire departments from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and territories like Guam apply for these grants.? The cost of preparing, submitting, and reviewing these thousands of applications is enormous.? Only a few hundred “lucky” departments win this lottery each year.?? This year’s “winners” included Genesee Fire Department in Idaho who got $256,500 for a new fire truck and? the Naranjito Fire Station in Puerto Rico who “won” $34,118.?? The cost of the program nationwide went from $115 million in 2001 to $485 million because it was “so popular”.?? You can find the complete list of winners at www.firehouse.com/funding/fireact/2006/recipients/.
?In 1787, the founders of our country wrote our? constitution so Congress could never spend money like this.? Article I Section 8 of our Constitution only gives Congress power to spend money on NATIONAL things like regulating interstate commerce, coining money, setting up post offices, and having an army and navy.?? Our Constitution does not allow Congress to spend NATIONAL tax money? on LOCAL purposes like local fire departments.??? Our founders of knew? from bitter experience how oppressive and corrupt the British Parliament got when it used NATIONAL taxes for LOCAL purposes.???? But very few Americans today know that–or care.
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-927-7333.???