Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reid Ribble and the Stimulus

The latest dust-up in the race for Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District revolves around the fact that Reid Ribble's family roofing business performed work for the Kaukauna school district that was paid for by money from the stimulus package. Apparently, Steve Kagen and the Democratic campaign machine see this as a problem since candidate Ribble has been critical of the stimulus.

The reporting on the issue has revolved around time-lines and whether the figures for the amount received are accurate. If you want to read the details for yourself, check out Politicfact Wisconsin, but this misses the point.

If you are a businessman in the business of providing roofing services to institutions like school districts and your local school district needs a roof, wouldn't it make sense for you to put in a bid on that work regardless of how the school district pays for it? Personally, I think the school taxes where I live are too high but if I was in the roofing business, and my school district needed a roof, I wouldn't refuse to bid just because they are using my tax dollars to pay for the roof.

Once Steve Kagen voted for the stimulus and it became law, who would be served by a qualified local contracting firm not bidding on work funded by the stimulus? Not the people of WI-8, not the citizens of Kaukauna, and certainly not the employees of the Ribble family roofing business.

If you think taxes are too high or the stimulus was a bad idea what do you think the best way to respond is? By having your company avoid doing work it is qualified for or by getting involved in the political process to affect change where it really matters? In this case Reid Ribble chose the latter, and he didn't just write a check, make some phone calls, or write a blog post. He got involved in the biggest way possible, as a candidate. And if you don't think that represents a major commitment, just turn on the television for five minutes and count the attack ads.

This entire issue is a ridiculous distraction from the fact that our current congressman, Steve Kagen, voted for the stimulus bill and it hasn't produced the results promised. The future is uncertain and solutions from Kagen and the Democrats in Washington are in short supply. What's going on at Ribble Roofing won't impact the lives of most voters in WI-8, but the makeup of the next Congress will.


Dale said...

Spin, Spin, Spin Jeremy. Sell your integrity down the river.

Reid never should have said he never made a dime of the stimulus. Honesty is always the best policy and most people learn as kids that using a lie to cover up your mistakes leads to another lie and another lie and pretty soon it all blows up.

Is making making excuses for Reid becoming a full time job? At least you have something to write.

Jeremy R. Shown said...


Given the number and size of the challenges facing the nation, do you really think this is where we should be putting our attention? I don't.

I'm willing to listen if you want to try and convince me, but you'll have to do a lot better than just shouting "spin" and accusing me of selling my integrity.

Dale McNamee said...

The issue is not that Reid Ribble bid on a project that was paid in part by the stimulus. He's a buissnessmen. You spin away from the real issue...which is he lied to try to cover his tracks.

It's no different than our earlier Afghan discussion..the point there was Reid did'nt know what he was talking about, he took a position without knowing what the supplemental contained. You gave him cover there too...the "is it a congressman's job to be involved in strategy?" BS was all spin.

By spinning away from the core issues you, in my opinion, effect the integrity of the blog. I am sure the lap dogs in the Ribble Red Rangers approve, but as a critical thinker with a value system that in rooted in integrity, honesty and a belief that leaders led by example can see right through it.

I am so tired of people just giving politicians and candidates a free ride on issues of character, using the "aren't there bigger things to worry about" or "he's still better than Kagen". In votes yes...but I also judge people on thier character.

Reid Ribble is lacking in honesty and moral courage. All he had to do was admit's clear he was involved in the bid and I really don't see the difference in "not making a penny in stimulus as President of the Ribble Group" and making it as the Chairman of the Board and "consultant". What..did the Ribble Group segregate that 133K so that not of it went into his monthly "counseling fee"?

He should of manned up...better a hypocrite than a liar.

But you and Jo keep spinning....