Oklahoma congressional candidate Markwayne Mullin, the Republican nominee to replace retiring Rep. Dan Boren (D), has openly criticized President Obama’s economic stimulus package throughout his campaign. The stimulus was a “horrible waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Mullin, who will give the GOP’s national address this weekend.
Mullin’s plumbing company, however, received $370,000 in stimulus funding, the Associated Press found last month:
A review of stimulus spending by The Associated Press shows companies owned by Markwayne Mullin received the money under contracts with the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations.
The payments were for plumbing at tribal housing projects and funded through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mullin responded to the story by asserting that he wasn’t aware that the contracts came from the stimulus, and that “plumbing is plumbing.” Had he known the money came from the stimulus, Mullin said, he probably wouldn’t have submitted a bid to work the project. Documents from the Cherokee Nation, however, revealed that Mullin’s firm was aware that the funding came from the stimulus.
Mullin will give the party’s national address the weekend after the Vice Presidential debate, during which the GOP’s VP candidate, Paul Ryan, faced criticism for requesting stimulus funds for his constituents even as he opposed the bill’s passage and has consistently criticized it since. But Mullin and Ryan aren’t alone: a 2010 ThinkProgress analysis found that 110 GOP lawmakers voted against the stimulus, then returned to their district to tout projects that were funded by it. And even presented with clear evidence of the stimulus’ success, Republicans continue to push the myth that it failed to turn around the economic slide that occurred during the Great Recession.