Aisle Crossing

Dem Governor May Reject Stimulus

A surprise addition to the small but growing claque of governors threatening to reject the stimulus: Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat. Bredesen is the first Democrat to publicly consider rejecting the stimulus' unemployment insurance funds. Louisiana Governor (and now-infamous rebuttal-giver) Bobby Jindal was the first to pledge refusal for this portion of the stimulus. Seven other Republican governors followed suit: Mark Sanford (SC), Sarah Palin (AK), Haley Barbour (MS), Rick Perry (TX), Sonny Perdue (GA), C. L. Otter (ID), and Mitch Daniels (IN). Bredesen, who made his intentions clear at the Governors Association meeting in DC, makes nine. The tight-fisted bunch cite concerns about state spending, local business, regional labor laws, negative long-term effects, and whether they are even capable of spending so much so fast. A spokesman for Idaho Gov. Otter said their rural state simply has no use for $5.5 million for "transportation enhancement." Some, however, speculate that membership in the Stimulus Rejection Club for Governors isn't altruistic: Jindal, Sanford, and Palin are considered likely candidates for presidential nomination in 2012.