Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Konop embarrasses Lucas County

Yesterday I twittered about Warren County wanting to return/not accept stimulus funds for things they did not need. Last night, during Eye On Toledo, we were the first to bring you news of Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop's letter to the Warren County Commissioners asking for those funds.

Here are portions of his original letter:

"I read with dismay but also a sense of opportunity for our residents that your county rejected $373,400 and would like to return another $1.8 million in federal stimulus money. Simply put, if Warren County doesn't want or need the help, Lucas County will take it.
The federal stimulus funds being distributed as part of President Obama's economic recovery plan come from tax dollars paid by our citizens and I am confident they want to see that money return to the community when so offered.
I believe there is no shame in accepting stimulus funds to pay for repairs, improvements, and construction on county infrastructure that would otherwise be put on hold because of a local economy that continues to sour. The Warren County commissioners obviously do not agree with these beliefs, but I am hoping each of you will consider granting Lucas County your unwanted stimulus funds so that we might better meet our community's needs and create jobs.
In the event that you have federal stimulus dollars in your possession that you do not want, please consider forwarding that money onto the citizens in Lucas County.
Thank you for your consideration, and should you decide to award us with the funds you don't want and we need, than I thank you for your generosity

First, the monies Warren County was returning were for transportation equipment and couldn't be used 'to create jobs,' not that government creates jobs in the first place. And the federal dollars can't just be passed around to whomever the original recipient wants. Finally, it wouldn't be the generosity of the Warren County Commissioners (with a capital C) Konop should be thanking, but our children and future generations who will be footing the bill for all this spending.

But Warren County Commissioner C. Michael Kilburn put it best in his response:

Mr. Konop,

I am emailing in reply to your letter received yesterday, April 21, 2009, relative to our refusal to accept stimulus funding for our Warren County Transit Service.

First, let me say that I take exception to your comment that this money comes from tax dollars paid for by our citizens. In fact, this money is NOT tax dollars that our citizens have paid but rather additional debt which will become the responsibility of our future generation to pay. I also question the source of this money. Is it newly printed money from Washington D.C. or more China dollars? Also, what happens when China calls their notes on us?

Secondly, the Warren County Transit Service was being offered funding for the replacement of three vehicles which did not need to be replaced. They were also offering to “give” us funding for new computers and a software program that the grant would fund for the first year but would cost $2400 per month to our taxpayers thereafter. The software that we utilize now works just fine and doesn’t cost us $2400 per month.

I can appreciate your request to receive our share of stimulus funding but that would, in my opinion, defeat the purpose of us not accepting the money. I want our portion of the funding to be utilized to reduce the national debt and to send a message to Washington D.C. that says enough is enough. Stop spending money you don’t have and start being accountable to the taxpayers. God only asked for 10%, why do the politicians in Washington D.C. think they deserve more than 40%?

I respectfully decline your offer to receive our share of the stimulus funds.


C. Michael Kilburn
Warren County Commissioner

Not to be outdone by this smack down to a greedy commissioner seeking even larger handouts, Konop made this statement upon receipt of the response:

"During this period of economic uncertainty and struggle for our citizens, I will not get into a right-wing-radio-fueled, Rush Limbaugh-esque debate about taxes. Now is not the time for political posturing. Our job losses are real. Our home foreclosures are real. Our challenges are real. Despite Mr. Kilburn's objections and rejection, I will continue to fight for every dollar out there to provide the services our taxpayers deserve. Also, I will not apologize for, nor will I stop, pursuing every angle to put our citizens back to work. I thank Mr. Kilburn for his response, but I will continue to seek any stimulus funds Warren County returns or rejects for Lucas County."

If Lucas County wasn't looked down upon by other counties before, this kind of response will ensure it.

To engage in political posturing and then accuse others of it when they were polite enough to respond (in a polite manner) to a ridiculous request is just beyond belief. Konop has embarrassed himself and Lucas County in this matter, no matter how much he wants to 'posture' otherwise.

The debate is all about taxes - and Konop knows it. These funds are provided based upon But he cannot engage in such a debate from a logical or reasoned position, because he knows he'd lose the argument, so he throws around insults and distractions, thinking that getting his name in the paper will make people want to vote for him for mayor.

As many of my callers said tonight, he's Carty Finkbeiner - only younger.


Roman said...

Ben Konop is a perpetual embarrassment to Lucas county. He is the gift that keeps on giving. Many people do not read more than headlines, (this accounts for tabloid sales; Elvis sightings, UFO abductions etc). By speaking in "sound bites", that will be published in one of America's Newspapers, he is trying to get elected to yet another office in his relentless drive to DC.
The Commissioner from Warren County answered his letter perfectly, with facts and class. Mr Konop replied as if he never read it, just pontificating with more drivel.
They ruined a good horse's ass when they put teeth in his mouth!

Tim Higgins said...

And once again young Ben shows his lack of maturity (political or otherwise), his inability leave well enough (or bad enough for that matter) alone, and his desperate need for self-aggrandizement.

Such a massive case of cranial / rectal inversion should be seen as a cry for treatment, not a reason to put or keep him in elected office.

2Bn11FA said...

Might I suggest that commissioner Konop petition the Miss USA pagent to have next year's event staged here in Toledo.

We already have all the boobs necessary for the pagent to be a success just in the politicians that keep being elected in the community.


Annie said...

I wonder if Konop wanders around a restaurant asking patrons " gonna finish that? Kin I have it if yur dun?"

Crass and unprofessional, not to mention clueless about economy and money.

Maggie Thurber said...

Oh Annie - that's just priceless!

Mad Jack said...

I liked 2BN11FA's comment - But I can just see Ben asking someone if they're going to finish their meal during a campaign dinner and not understanding the social faux pas he committed.

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