Stimulus hot topic in race for Congress

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 20, 2010

BOISE – Republican Raul Labrador and Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick are at odds over a series of letters sent by Minnick and other Idaho lawmakers seeking support of projects using federal stimulus money.

Labrador attacked Minnick earlier this week for campaigning against government spending when the congressman supported the use of stimulus funds to expand broadband Internet in rural Idaho.

Both Labrador and Minnick have championed their efforts to rein in government spending.

Minnick’s “painting himself as someone that said ‘no’ to government spending, but here he is trying to benefit,” Labrador campaign spokesman Phil Hardy said.

Minnick campaign manager John Foster said Labrador is the “hypocrite,” and voted for bills in the Idaho Legislature that relied on stimulus funds.

The spat over stimulus funds erupted after a National Public Radio report Monday that was based an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. The probe named Minnick among lawmakers who criticized the stimulus bill, yet worked “behind the scenes” to get money for their states.

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