I’m hoping it’s almost over.
I know I haven’t weighed in on the CIETC scandal yet, but in all honesty, there’s little about it that surprises me, and it’s all over other places on the blogosphere. Hell, even Chris Woods posted Fallon’s press release full text yesterday.
In an era where more and more Republicans are willing to hack and slash at social services like CIETC, Archie Brooks et al should be ashamed of what they’ve done. They’ve given every right-wing, “I don’t want to help people because it’s expensive” Republican another opportunity to wag their finger and say “wasteful big government is at it again.”
I attended Gov. Vilsack’s Condition of the State in January as a curious observer. Being someone who grew up far away from their state capitol, a lot of the access people in Des Moines take for granted is entirely new to me. I lived in Wisconsin for 18 years and went to the Capitol one time. For the last 4 months I’ve been to the Capitol in Des Moines at least once weekly. But I digress.
I took pages of notes during the Condition of the State, but it’s my last line that I think bears repeating. As it turns out, I wrote it largely and boldly enough that the person behind me read it over my shoulder and laughed too loudly for the room we were in:
Condition of the State Diagnosed: Spendicitis, with Chronic Fiscal Irresponsibility.
Take the current CIETC scandal, for example. Federal, state and local money get pooled together to create a program that’s supposed to get people back to work who would otherwise be forced to remain on welfare and other government assistance. Iowa Workforce Development, another bureaucratic government entity, does a shoddy, if not entirely negligent, job of watching over it, and the results are almost entirely predictable. With no oversight, those involved get as much as possible for themselves, and allow others to twist in the wind.
Now, consider the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Here we’ve got a $50 million dollar annual program, giving grants to corporations who promise to provide the desired behavior, creating jobs. Governor Vilsack and former IDED Director Mike Blouin claim over 25,000 jobs have been created already. Blouin’s even got it on the front page of his gubernatorial campaign’s website. The problem: No proof whatsoever.
An open records request sent to IDED was returned with a tracking spreadsheet over 9 months old. It showed that many companies had refused to report their job creation, and from the companies that did, 1282 actual jobs were created. Wells Fargo built cubicles to hold 846 of them, and 91 other companies combined to create 436 jobs.
There is no evidence to show that any action was taken against companies that refused to report or failed to create jobs.
In short, a massive government program was create to instill a desired result with no oversight and it appears much of that money ended up getting pissed away.
Sensing a trend?