Open Secrets of 100 Days, 100 Projects


Hm. The Obama Administration released a new report on Recovery spending, 100 Days, 100 Projects. “As we worked to compile the Report, all of us were struck by the very personal stories that we came across. We learned that Recovery is about more than just projects. It’s about helping people who have been hit hard by the worst recession of our lifetimes,” the blog post announcing the work states.

Curious, I started scrolling through. It’s loaded with tidbits like this:

Jobs & Job Training: 15. The president of New Hampshire paving company Continental Paving estimates he would have had to lay off 75 employees if it weren’t for the Recovery Act. “Continental Paving, Mark Charbonneau’s family-run business, landed a $10 million contract to reconstruct and pave a section of the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Bedford, as part of a larger project to connect the highway with Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Continental’s contract came out of a $130 million package of stimulus money targeted to build and repair highways and bridges in New Hampshire..” [The Nashua Telegraph, 5/10/09]

I looked up Mark Charbonneau and Continental Paving in Charbonneau contributed $35,825 to federal campaign committees (to both Democrats and Republicans), while the company’s self-identified employees gave $61,150 since 1989.

Here’s another:

14. The owner of a New York construction company was able to rehire laid-off seasonal employees after it won contracts for Recovery-Act-funded projects. “Slate Hill Constructors Inc. laid off 40 seasonal construction workers last year, and the company spent the winter in intense competition for the summer’s road and bridge projects. By the end of April, company President Jeff Hanlon was weighing whether he would have to skip raises for the first time in 24 years. No more. .Slate Hill won a $733,831 contract to repair 50 culverts that could have collapsed and washed out Route 54A in Steuben County. Slate Hill has also won a $6.4 million contract to rehab nine arches on a 450-foot stone bridge in St. Lawrence County..” [The Post-Standard, 5/20/09


Looking up “Hanlon, Jeff” in Open Secrets, we find $5,250 in donations, including $1,000 to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on March 6, 2009.

I’m certainly not saying that $1,000 or $61,000 in campaign contributions spread over 20 years necessarily assures one of much of anything other than invitations to more fundraisers, but it’s worth taking a closer look at the rest of the report.