The liberal group ProgressVA has put out a release pointing out that the business where Mitt Romney is appearing in Salem today has benefitted from stimulus funds that the Republican candidate opposes.
Below is what the group has to say, along with the company’s response (and a follow-up.)
First, from ProgressVa, which describes itself as “amulti-issue, progressive advocacy organization that seeks to engage citizens from across the Commonwealth around issues of immediate state or local concern.” Their statement:
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will hold a campaign rally Tuesday morning at Carter Machinery in Salem, a company that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the American Recovery Act, legislation Romney sometimes opposes. Carter Machinery received at least $514,499 under the Recovery Act; $146,175 in grants for generators and an additional $368,324 subcontract.
Romney, while supportive of a stimulus in 2009, has more recently flip-flopped to declare the Recovery Act a “failed stimulus scheme.” Romney’s penchant for mind-changing seems to be rubbing off on his chief Virginia cheerleader as well. Governor Bob McDonnell recently acknowledged on CNN that the Recovery Act had benefitted Virginia.
“Mitt Romney has changed his mind so many times even he can’t keep his positions straight,” said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. “He was for the Recovery Act before he was against it. Now that Bob McDonnell has said the Recovery Act worked for Virginia, Romney’s off to campaign with the folks who benefitted. Virginia families need a strong leader who will put us first, not a fat cat CEO whose positions change with the breeze.”
Carter Machinery Received $146,175 In Grants For Generators Under the Recovery Act. According to Recovery.gov, Carter Machinery Co. received two vendor awards from the Recovery Act totaling $146,175. The two awards were grants from the Department of Agriculture for $50,000 and $95,175. [Recovery.gov, 6/29/09; Recovery.gov, 9/30/10]
Carter Machinery Received A $368,324 Subcontract Under The Recovery Act. According to Recovery.gov, Carter Machinery Co., Inc, received a subcontract worth $368,324 for a ship repair project. The funds were awarded through the Department of Commerce. [Recovery.gov, 3/8/10]
Romney Slammed Obama For “Failed Stimulus Schemes.” According to Free And Strong America, Romney said, “President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there. Under President Obama’s economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he’s still failing the course. Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can’t build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President’s misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him.” [Free And Strong America, 1/26/11]
Bob McDonnell Said On CNN’s “State Of The Union” That The Recovery Act Helped Virginia. “McDonnell, a potential vice presidential candidate who has sought to walk a tightrope between conservatives and moderates, acknowledged on CNN’s “State of the Union” that federal assistance aided Virginia in balancing its budget, but said it had no positive long-term impact. “Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure,” McDonnell said.” [Washington Post, 6/3/12]
And here’s what Carter Machinery CEO Jim Parker had to say in response:
“Carter Machinery is actively engaged throughout our territory with private and governmental customers. It is no surprise to us that sometime in the past that we would have sold or rented generator sets to the Department of Agriculture or done machinery repairs for the Department of Commerce. When a government agency asks us to do work, we respond as quickly and as effectively as possible. When we are paid for this governmental work, we do not know the source of these funds. Carter Machinery has never received direct stimulus funding.”
Updated 11:37 a.m.: ProgressVA clarifies that it wasn’t criticizing Carter Machinery, but Romney in previous release about company benefitting from stimulus money. ProgressVA tells us: “Thanks so much for picking up on our research on Carter Machinery’s benefit from the Recovery Act this morning. I just wanted to clarify one thing (which is probably a result of me not having enough coffee before writing press releases). ProgressVA in no way is criticizing Carter Machinery for benefitting from the Recovery Act. We think its great that Virginia businesses benefitted from the legislation. Our concern is that Mitt Romney is incredibly inconsistent in his positions.”