ALBANY—The special election between Scott Murphy and Jim Tedisco last spring was, in many ways, a referendum on the federal stimulus package. So how’s it working out in the 20th District?
“Is there any?” asked Tory Mazzola, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which attacked Murphy during the campaign. NRCC has been making the case around the country–they tend to focus on marginal districts like Murphy’s–that the spending program hasn’t created enough jobs.
According to recovery.gov, the official website tracking expenditures under the program, $446,000 has been let in stimulus money has been reported received by recipients, creating 1.25 jobs in the district. (Other districts have fared better.)
“It’s unfortunate that it hasn’t put people back to work,” Mazzola said. “Republicans tried to highlight the failed policies of the stimulus during the debate, and it fell on deaf ears. I think New York 20 is a particularly good example of how few jobs have actually been created, and Upstate New Yorkers are frustrated by the big government policies that come with enormous price tags but failed policies.”
Tedisco attacked the stimulus package for containing too much pork, but refused to take a position on it (and was hammered) until the last two weeks of his run against Murphy, when he came out against it. The Democrat, by contrast, made implementing the stimulus to create jobs the foundation of his candidacy.
Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Murphy, called the web site’s figures “inaccurate,” said that “the district has had more than $250 million in recovery projects greenlighted.”
Other money prevented layoffs at school districts like Shenendehowa, where Murphy appeared at an event with Vice President Joe Biden. Schwerin said Murphy has announced other funding as well.