NY 29: Bowling-Gate?
by Matt Stoller, Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 05:29:56 AM EDT
The Fighting 29th tips us off that Randy Kuhl, the Republican Congressman from New York's 29th district, has procured $2.5 million in Federal loans for a bowling alley in Canandaigua called Roseland Bowl. Normally this would be a sort of standard local politician move, helping out a small business owner. Now, I'm a good liberal, so I'll point out that right near the bowling alley is a VA facility that just closed its acute psychiatric care facility, apparently due to funding cuts. But that's not what's interesting here.
"Roseland Bowl is a great business and a fixture in the Canandaigua community," said Rep. Kuhl. "This guaranteed loan will help Roseland Bowl by allowing the owners to restructure their debt to help improve the business and, importantly, save the 36 jobs there. I thank Rural Development for their vital assistance."
Here's what's weird. It's worth noting that Roseland Bowl's loan is coming from the Department of Agriculture, which is part of the executive branch and run by Bush partisan Mike Johanns. That's useful to know because one of the main ways that the Republicans maintained power in Congress was through Congressional earmarks to vulnerable districts. When the power to put Bridges to Nowhere disappeared with the Democratic takeover, it seems that in order for this political machine to work the executive branch would have to pick up the slack and push cash to critical districts. And lo and behold Randy Kuhl is on Karl Rove's watch list as a vulnerable seat, which we know from a presentation given to personnel in the non-partisan General Services Administration.
Still, there's a good case to be made that getting a low-interest Federal lean to a private bowling alley is a good use of public funds, but funding our troops with the equipment in the supplemental that Bush will veto and Kuhl voted against is not. After all, there's this.