Monday, November 16, 2009

ABCNews Exclusive: Jobs 'Saved or Created' in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist

Exclusive: Jobs 'Saved or Created' in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist
Recovery.gov Lists Millions Spent and Hundreds of Jobs Created in Districts Not on Map
By JONATHAN KARL, ABC News
Nov. 16, 2009

Here's a stimulus success story: In Arizona's 9th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that's what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There's one problem, though: There is no 9th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight congressional districts.

There's no 86th congressional district in Arizona either, but the government's recovery.gov Web site says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent there.
In fact, Recovery.gov lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in congressional districts that don't exist.

In Oklahoma, for example, the site lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- in congressional districts that don't exist. In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent – and 39 jobs created -- in non-existent districts.

In Connecticut's 42nd district (which also does not exist), the Web site claims 25 jobs created with zero stimulus dollars.

The list of spending and job creation in fictional congressional districts extends to U.S. territories as well.

$68.3 million spent and 72.2 million spent in the 1st congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$8.4 million spent and 40.3 jobs created in the 99th congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$1.5 million spent and .3 jobs created in the 69th district and $35 million for 142 jobs in the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands.
$47.7 million spent and 291 jobs created in Puerto Rico's 99th congressional district.

Interesting facts and figures, but none of these districts exist.

The recovery.gov Web site was established as part of the stimulus bill "to foster greater accountability and transparency" in the use of the money spent through the stimulus program. The site is a well-funded enterprise; the General Services Administration updated it earlier this year with an $18 million grant.

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