Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quid Pro Quo for Kanjo?

News has surfaced of $1 million in grant money that Representative Kanjorski has secured for an energy institute that will focus on researching the Marcellus Shale. It will be administered by Wilkes University, Kings College and Earth Conservancy.

Despite Kanjorski's past schemes, such as the "Kanjorski Center", the $10 million dollar earmark for "Cornerstone Technologies", and plans for the thankfully never-built inflatable raft, Democrat residents of NEPA will likely be pleased that their proverbial Robin Hood has come home with more booty from taxpayers. To them, he may not be as flamboyantly satisfactory as Dan Flood, but he still gets the job done. The problem of grants such as these was covered in an earlier post, but I'd like to focus on the possible source of this million-dollar grant.

Remember when Paul Kanjorski voted for the health care overhaul last spring? His vote was necessary to ensure that a change in the funding of federal college loans became law. Kanjorski knew that the passing of the bill would mean that the handling of federal college loans would be tranferred from the former GSE Sallie Mae to the federal government.

Local Sallie Mae workers protested the linkage of the education funding change with the health care bill, and begged Kanjorski not to vote for the latter. This vote was signiicant for him because he had taken credit in the past for bringing jobs to the call center in Hanover Township.

Although Sallie Mae's stock price hasn't (yet?) exactly taken much of a hit, the Times Tribune reported in July that about 100 people lost jobs at the Hanover Twp. call center. Though it is not clear whether Kanjorski's vote and the student loan leglisation it enabled have directly led to the 100 layoffs, it cannot be doubted that his vote did seem to have a negative impact on the center.

So, I conjecture, maybe Rep Kanjorski was given a deal that went something like this:
Paul, we'll give you that environmental thing you wanted if you just bite the bullet and vote for the health-care bill.

NEPA Democrats who wanted Pelosi-care supported Kanjorski's healthcare vote, so I imagine they're happy with him. And now, NEPA Democrats concerned primarily with creating or saving local jobs using other people's money (via federal tax revenue and/or incurred debt), can say Kanjorski made up for any NEPA jobs lost via his healthcare vote with his newest "center" scheme.

On second thought, most NEPA Democrats will probably just loyally vote straight party ticket again, without needing any such justifications.

And it is certainly possibly that my conjecture is wrong, and that the energy institute is just a regular conveniently-timed, pre-election publicity bill.

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