The television spot is an extended dig at [Democratic opponent Jim] Graves' support for the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As the narrator puts it, "Big spendin' Jim supported the wasteful, trillion-dollar stimulus!"
The stimulus wasn't $1 trillion as the ad suggests; it was $831 billion. But that's not what's interesting. In a radio ad, Bachmann takes a much different approach. As Dump Bachmann points out, most of the ad's 60 seconds is spent discussing all of the awesome things that have been built in her district because of federal funding Bachmann helped secure. The kicker: Bachmann sought hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funding for one of the projects she touts in her ad, and another project was completed thanks to an ARRA grant.
"Congressman Bachmann helped re-open the St. Cloud airport," one narrator says. "Working together with local leaders, Michele helped save the airport and keep our area open for business and commerce." The St. Cloud airport, which had been shuttered for a few years after a major carrier left, did reopen for commercial flights in 2012. But it had some help from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Bachmann voted against and knocks Graves for supporting. As the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a conservative group, noted, "St. Cloud received $750,000 in federal stimulus funding to assist with a portion of the renovation..." With Bachmann's help, it received another $750,000 through a Small Community Air Service Development Program grant—this despite being panned as wasteful by conservatives in Bachmann's own state.
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