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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

$6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts

Bill McMorris, who I quoted in this morning's story on the 440 phantom Congressional Districts that received funding under the stimulus.

The site’s monitors, however, are not too savvy about America’s political or geographic landscape. More than $2 million was given to the 99th District of North Dakota, a state which has only one congressional district. In order to qualify for 99 districts, North Dakota would have to have a population of about 60 million people, almost 24 million more people than California.

The stimulus revived 8 recently retired congressional districts. Pennsylvania’s 21st District has received just under $2 million in funds. Mississippi’s 5th District and Oklahoma’s 6th received $1 million from the legislation, respectively. All three were eliminated by the 2000 census.

Many other recipients carried the banner for congressional districts that have been defunct for decades. South Carolina’s 7th took the cake, garnering more than $27 million in stimulus funds, despite being eliminated in 1930. And Virginia’s 12th District may have been written off at the start of the Civil War, but it must carry some sentimental value in Old Dominion–it received more than $2 million, according to recovery.gov.

The stimulus helped to create 35 congressional districts in Washington D.C. and the four American territories, all of which have no congressional districts. These areas received $5 of the $6.4 billion distributed to the non-existent districts.
$84 million for a great website, with tons of functionality. Too bad they didn't bother to check to see if the data going in was garbage.

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