In June of 2010, President Barack Obama's counsel on automotive communities and workers, Dr. Edward B. Montgomery, completed scheduled appearances in Janesville and Kenosha (both are in Ryan's congressional district) to find out what kind of help the locals wanted or expected from the federal government to help foster economic growth and jobs.
Rock Netroots Excerpt:
Returning to Janesville's recovery, this meeting was attended by local leaders in labor, county and local governments, transportation and housing agencies, health and human services, justice, environmental protection, business, education and economic development, science and technology industries - just about everybody - together they presented a list of eight projects and proposals totaling slightly more than $40 million.
With a White House official playing host and several more federal officials in attendance, this economic recovery summit was perhaps the single most important meeting concerning the future economic vitality of Janesville and the Rock County area in over 50 years. Everyone and anybody that represents city and county government were there including State Assembly Rep. Mike Sheridan and Rep. Tammy Baldwin. The state was represented by the DWD Secretary, Roberta Gassman. So just about everyone was there except for. one. Paul. Ryan.
That's right, Paul Ryan, the guy who often refers to himself as the area's go-to "federal guy" did not participate in the district's most important plans for economic recovery during what was arguably the most stressful time in its history since the Great Depression. These two important meetings were not only in his congressional district, but Janesville is his hometown. Now, I do recall during the summer of 2010 that Paul Ryan was starting to bounce around on the national scene promoting his hyper-partisan GOP recruitment book, "Youngs Guns." So it becomes obvious he had more important things to attend to at that time. It's also possible that he may have written a letter to whom it may concern in support of these economic recovery meetings, but we recently discovered how routine his letters of support really are. So.
Also, these meetings were not held behind closed doors with hedge fund managers, corporate fatcats or select campaign donors. They were held in broad daylight under full public scrutiny and with full disclosure. The folks in attendance were his constituency. But perhaps they (including some of his supporters) already knew Ryan would turn a deaf ear to their cries for help. Perhaps they knew Ryan would view their comeback plans and requests for revenue as little more than hand-outs and earmarks, putting his delicate conservative reputation at risk. But most important, perhaps they knew they had no choice but to go over his head if they ever wanted a chance to get something done.
Paul Ryan had the opportunity of a lifetime to be part of the solution and do great things for his congressional district. Instead, he chose not to show up.
Original Blog Posting - Bludgeoned Into Prosperity - District Locals Go Over Ryan's Head For Capital (June 18, 2010)