Panel's members want answers to host of MnDOT questions
BY BILL SALISBURY
"Democrats on a Minnesota legislative panel are balking at giving Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty the $195 million he says is needed to avoid delaying other highway projects because of a funding snag for rebuilding the Interstate 35W bridge."Read the whole article...
Anyone capable of understanding fund accounting knows that Carol Molnau and the Department of Transportation cannot be blamed for a shortage of money to rebuild the collapsed bridge. The department receives its money from the legislature. It’s budget is allocated to projects.
When a failed bridge must be replaced, either its whole funding must be infused into the Mn/DOT’s budget or other projects must be delayed to free up dollars to pay for the top priority. It’s rather simple.
It’s not Molnau’s fault that the promised $195 million from the feds is being threatened with a veto by President Bush because the transportation bill is stuffed with pork.
Given the potential delay of receiving this money, it is understandable that legislators and the Governor are cautious about how to fund this temporarily out of state reserves, which should be reimbursed by the feds. That should be regarded as a non-political accounting matter.
In the end, the Donkeys will quit their stiff-legged resistance just in time to avoid actually delaying bridge reconstruction because they do not want to be accused of that. In the meantime, they grandstand to set the stage to remove Molnau as Commissioner.
Prior to the bridge collapse, where was this chorus of Dem falsettos over Molnau and DOT’s use of funds? These Dems shamelessly use a tragedy as an occasion to manufacture fear that other projects won’t be built when it is in their power to provide the temporary funding that will be reimbursed just to attack Molnau. They brazenly use a federal pork-barrel funding fiasco to manufacture a crisis in the state DOT and specifically with Molnau’s leadership.
Mike Nifong found it’s easy to manufacture charges. It certainly appears these Dems are doing the same in Minnesota. The public is not stupid. We are capable of differentiating between manufactured and genuine charges.
The public also expects Democrat legislators to ask Mn/DOT tough questions. After all, both the DOT and legislators work for us. But we also know when they are asking the questions with ulterior motives. It’s getting disgusting–very disgusting.
Check out this commentary as well.