19 April 2012 0 Comments

Rick Santorums’s Negatives Part 23: Union Endorsement and The North Connector Tunnel

Unlike Mitt Romney, who has actual real world executive experience, Rick Santorum  has never had held an executive position or had a private sector job. Unlike Mitt Romney who has actually created productive jobs, who actually paid taxes, Rick Santorum has redistributed tax dollars and misallocated resources to Unions and other preferred constituencies.

An article in  Washington Times on the former Pennsylvania senator’s lack of popularity in the Keystone State is instructive and reported by CATO Institute Downsizing the Federal Government March 12, 2012

   

The Times singles out Santorum’s leading role in getting federal taxpayers to foot 80 percent of the bill for a tunnel project in Pittsburgh that even former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell called “a tragic mistake.” (When “Fast Eddie” dings a government project, you know it’s bad.) Indeed, the North Shore Connector was originally projected to cost $350 million but the final price tag will be closer to $528 million. (The Obama administration kindly kicked in $63 million in stimulus funds to help get the over-budget project finished.) As one local critic notes, that’s a lot of money to provide “cheap public transportation” for “Steeler and Pirates fans too lazy to walk across one of four bridges that already connect downtown and the ballparks.”

According to the Times, Santorum’s zeal for the project stemmed from a “deal” he struck with the local trade unions that would benefit from its construction:

‘We had a deal with Santorum,’ said Mr. Brooks, whose Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters, along with other major building and construction trade unions, endorsed Mr. Santorum after the senator went to bat in Washington for construction of the tunnel under the Allegheny River. The tunnel’s only stop is at the two taxpayer-funded sports stadiums built with Mr. Santorum’s support. ‘Very seldom are you going to have a union endorse a Republican,’ said Mr. Brooks. ‘But the project created 4,000 jobs’ — even if they were temporary — for workers in the construction and building trades.

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