Conrad: Pork for the Masses

Well, he’s at it again, taking credit for spending more tax dollars to get himself in the news.

Conrad campaigns with tax dollars

Conrad was reflecting on the good news that Bismarck will soon be home to a $10 million pea and lentil facility.

It was one of those events where a panel of politicians gave energetic speeches of how the facility would boost the state’s agriculture economy.

For Conrad, the event signified some of the reasons he likes being a senator.

“I like visiting with people and Ilike working on projects,” Conrad said.

Conrad said he worked with the the developers of United Pulse, the pea and lentil company, and others to help make the project possible at the Northern Plains Commerce Centre. He also said he authored legislation in the 2002 farm bill that secured federal support for pulse crops and helped get $3 million in federal funding for the NPCC.

Then he flew to Grand Forks on a private jet.

His next stop was Grand Forks, where he met with sugar beet growers to talk about prices and trade issues before heading to the University of North Dakota to meet with Nicholas Sabatini, the Federal Aviation Administration’s associate administrator.

The flight took about an hour aboard a small airplane that seats five or six passengers.

Even during travel, there isn’t much idle time for a senator.

Conrad paged through a thick binder to prepare for the next meeting and scarfed down a lunch that included a cold tuna sandwich, pasta salad, fruit and dessert. His communications director, Chris Thorne, accompanied him and helped make sure Conrad had all the materials he needed to review.

He told the sugar beet growers that it is probably better to keep the current sugar provisions in the farm bill and try to expand them later, as opposed to starting with a new plan. Conrad also told the farmers how displeased he was with the Bush administration trade policies.

Then he complained about the budget being too high.

And like many of his presentations to groups, he injected some charts and graphs while he lectured the crowd on the budget and trade deficits.

Conrad told the group that the farm bill negotiations will be much different this year because, when the farm bill was crafted in 2002, the country had a $5.6 trillion surplus and $73.5 million was reserved for agriculture programs. Now, the country is running a deficit and will add more than $500 billion in debt this year.

“The debt is the threat,” Conrad said.

When asked about his Farmer Opponent:

He has built up a $3.4 million campaign fund, as of June 30, according to information from the Federal Elections Commission.

Conrad said his opponent doesn’t change the way he runs his campaign and he doesn’t have much to say about his opponent, Dwight Grotberg, except that he is a nice person. He doesn’t know Grotberg beyond having a few conversations with him at public events.

Conrad describes himself as a centrist, but he doesn’t know how to compare his political views to Grotberg because he doesn’t know Grotberg well enough.

Why is the joker still around?

He flies around on a taxpayer funded private jet to brag about all the money he has spend, then he has the sheer gall to lecture about budgets?!?

Ken Karls (NDGOP Chair) nails it:

“Does a centrist mean that you condemn the president for busting the budget and then come back to the state and talk about how much money you bring back to the state that comes from other states?” Karls said.

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