Republican hypocrisy watch: Tom Latham edition

Remember when I asked Bleeding Heartland readers to let me know if Representatives Tom Latham or Steve King tried to take credit for infrastructure projects funded by the stimulus bill they opposed?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee noticed that Latham has been sending out press releases touting earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill that he and nearly every other House Republican voted against. That’s right, Latham has been bragging about earmarks he inserted in a bill he didn’t support on the House floor. This is from the DCCC’s press release of March 12:

In a striking example of hypocrisy, after voting against the recently enacted FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations, Congressman Tom Latham is taking credit for millions of dollars included in the legislation that will help local community colleges, health care clinics, and renewable energy producers in  Iowa ‘s 4th Congressional District.

“Congressman Latham keeps telling people he ‘secured’ millions of dollars in funding for Iowa, but the truth is he voted against these investments,” said Gabby Adler, the Midwestern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Congressman Latham can’t hide from his voting record, no matter how hard he tries.  Counter to what Congressman Latham would have you believe, these millions of dollars aren’t coming to Iowa because of his hard work, these investments are being made in spite of Congressman Latham’s efforts to defeat this bill and the funding for Iowa.”

In every single press release sent out by Congressman Latham announcing investments for Iowa included in the FY 2009 Appropriations, he not only hid the fact he voted against the legislation but he led people to believe he championed its passage.  One release read Congressman Latham “once again this past week demonstrated his commitment to community colleges,” another one discussed his role as a “long-time supporter” of new health care technologies.  In a third release, Congressman Latham even referred to his support of Iowa’s renewable energy industry as “steadfast” despite his vote against $1.4 million for a cutting edge wind energy project in Iowa.

After the jump I’ve posted the rest of the DCCC’s release, which contains further details about the earmarks Latham voted against but is now taking credit for.

The two-faced Republican position on earmarks is truly sickening.

Latham may feel secure in IA-04 for 2010, but in 2012 he will probably have to run in a redrawn third district, which may not be as friendly as his current turf. For that reason, I have wondered whether voting for some of President Barack Obama’s policies would be in Latham’s political interest, or whether he would be better off rejecting every significant White House proposal, like most House Republicans.

Apparently Latham plans to have it both ways and hope Iowans don’t notice.

Let me know if you see any news reports in the fourth district that tell the whole truth about Latham’s position on the omnibus spending bill. My hunch is that most journalists will pass along the information from Latham’s press releases without mentioning that he didn’t vote for the final package.


Latham Voted AGAINST: $1.4 million for equipment and supplies for programs at the Des Moines Area Community College Electronic Crime Institute, which trains law enforcement personnel in electronic crime detection and forensics.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $475,750 to  Iowa Lakes  Community College for a sustainable energy education center as a demonstration project involving wind energy and green building initiatives.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $475,750 to  Iowa Central Community College for laboratory equipment for a nationally certified renewable fuels assurance testing program.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $100,000 to  North Iowa  Area Community College to support the Regional Economic Development Organization. The goal of this organization is to improve marketing and recruitment of business in rural  Iowa and plan for the economic stability of the region.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $500,000 to Iowa Valley Community College to help meet the ever-growing demand of the Iowa Valley Education and Training Center, which offers professional and computer training to accommodate the needs of the local business community.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $333,000 to Iowa Central Community  College for its Advanced Manufacturing Training Center to purchase a mobile lab and supplies to assist the center in providing an important link between  Iowa Central Community College and area manufacturing industries.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $1.4 million to the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy for a next generation wind energy production plant project that explores new methods of storing wind energy.

Latham Voted AGAINST: $95,000 to the Gunderson Lutheran Health System and the Gunderson Clinic in Decorah for the Newborn Monitoring Initiative that will provide a telemedicine care for newborn patients.

  • and now from Rep. Steve King

    Highway 20 widening gets more money

    By Lynn Zerschling

    Journal staff writer | Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009

    Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, announced today that $570,000 for the U.S. Highway 20 widening project has been included in the federal stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama earlier in the week.

    The money will be used to continue to widen the highway from two to four lines from the county lines of Sac and Calhoun counties to Moville, Iowa, where the highway becomes four lanes again.

    “This funding brings total federal funding secured for Highway 20 construction in western Iowa to more than $26 million,” King said in a prepared statement. “The four-lane project will increase traveler safety and economic development and stem population loss in one of Iowa’s most productive regions.”…

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