Green Bay earmark in jeopardy

Federal funds to demolish Green Bay’s former downtown shopping mall could be a casualty of the Republican-led assault on congressional earmarks.

U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, has pushed for $1 million in urban redevelopment funds for the city demolition project.

Kagen, however, is preparing to leave office without a federal funding commitment.

And his successor, Republican Reid Ribble, has spoken out against earmarks.

“There’s a lot of question marks around it,” Kagen spokeswoman Allison Jaslow said of Green Bay’s funding request.

“I see it as something that could actually be in jeopardy now.”

Without federal aid, city officials would be forced to find a new funding source for a central element in downtown redevelopment.

Alderman Ned Dorff, whose district includes the shuttered Washington Commons, said he hopes the urban redevelopment funds still will come through.

“A million bucks is big. So, yeah, that would be a setback,” Dorff said. “We’re all kind of holding our breath on this one.”

Ribble, who will take office in January, said of earmarks, “We’ve got to get some type of control.”

He has not yet looked at Green Bay’s funding request, but he cited “intense pressure” to cut federal spending.

“I don’t know if this type of project is going to fall victim to that,” he said. (Source: Green Bay Press Gazette)

Whether Green Bay leaders like it or not this is something that should be a casualty right now. At least until the process can be reformed and made more transparent. For that to happen all earmarks need to be banned at this point. It’s a tough choice, but tough choices need to be made to rein in out-of-control spending.

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Ribble feels like Jimmy Stewart

Interesting, but not surprising.

The 8th Congressional District’s new congressman has never held elective office before. So Republican Reid Ribble says he feels a bit like Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 classic movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

“Matter of fact, when I won my election I got four copies of it as gifts,” he said

Ribble says it’s impossible not to be impressed by the surroundings of more than two centuries of making law.

“You stop and it does make you pause and say ‘Look at the giants of American history who have served here’, guys like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln,” Ribble said. “You look at how the American people view Congress today with an approval rating of less than 20 percent.”

Ribble says this freshmen class hopes to reclaim that image over the next two years.

Hopefully Congressman-elect Ribble and the other newcomers to the Washington D.C. scene remember why they were elected.  If they remember that and understand “we the people” will be holding their feet to the fire that image will be reclaimed.

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Ribble attacks problems not people

As the campaign winds down a straight forward ad from the Ribble campaign.

Kudos to Reid and his campaign for taking the high road since the primary when smeared over and over by Congressman Kagen, his Washington pals and his union buddies.

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Congressman Kagen wasting trillions

The Ribble campaign has had quick response lately to false and misleading attack ads.  Good move here reminding voters of the 8th how Congressman Kagen supported the FAILED stimulus that actually led to job losses. Especially since jobs are apparently the Congressman’s top priority.

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