Craig Moore, a conservative blogger, pointed out a few days ago that Tester and Baucus and Rehberg all support earmarks such as the funds that Jon Sonju’s company receives.
So do I. While I’m not familiar with the Sonju earmark in terms of what it was for, I don’t think federal spending is the bogeyman that Teatards have made it out to be. True, we need to find out what type of stuff Sonju Industries is churning out, and see whether it is wasteful or necessary. But the fact is that Jon Sonju should not be ashamed of employing a sizable workforce paid for by federal earmark spending.
However, Sonju may not, like the imbeciles who populate his party, go around talking about how “government is the problem”. Nor may Sonju trash president Obama, who authorized Sonju’s huge multimillion dollar earmark in 2010.
I have no problem whatsoever with Tester, Baucus and Rehberg delivering earmark spending if it is well spent. (I do object to Baucus bringing a check to Sonju in the fall of 2010, but that was more along the lines of a political objection. I didn’t think Baucus should have been endorsing a Republican state senator over the Democrat Mary Reckin, which is effectively what Baucus did by delivering a giant government check at election time.)
Sonju and Hill have both earned a huge portion of their wealth from Government spending. Some of this spending has provided good stimulus for Montana; others, like the giant payments to Hill’s landlord business, are wasteful and sleazy. These contracts were most likely over-market, sweetheart, inflated rent payments. They were put under Hill’s Christmas tree by his buddies Martz and Racicot, and Hill collected this easy cash for decades while he was a sitting Congressman and also while his wife was in the Governor’s office puling the strings. It’s not pure welfare, but it’s pretty close.
Ironically, before Sonju got the nod, Bruce Tutvedt had long been rumored to be on Hill’s short list for a running mate. But Tutvedt was recently revealed to be one of the largest recipients of farm subsidies in Montana history, and so that probably hurt him.
And let’s remember that Neil Livingstone and Ryan Zinke are also big proponents of such an economic model, Zinke having fought for increased federal defense programs for Montana and Livingstone, likely (this is speculation) having worked on contracts from the US government.
So the irony is complete. Like Livingstone and Zinke, Rick Hill has, in selecting Sonju, stated a clear opinion: that a person should not be ashamed of making a living off of government spending. Certainly he is at odds with the Tea Party on this issue.