Is Secretary Duncan Using Stimulus Cash As A Slush Fund?

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Great catch by Frederick Hess at The Enterprise Blog:

‘Was it just me, or did anyone else find it troubling to read the Washington Post story “Democrats round up health bill votes” on Saturday and stumble upon this sentence: “Rep. Jason Altmire, a second-term Democrat who represents a blue-collar district in suburban Pittsburgh, was the focus of an aggressive lobbying effort Friday, taking calls from Obama, Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, as well as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.”‘

‘I understand the calls from Emanuel and Sebelius, but why exactly was the secretary of Education leaning on a Pittsburgh congressman to vote for the healthcare bill? What did he say? “I’m a former basketball player and school chief from Chicago, and I’m hoping you’ll vote for the bill.” Could $100 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and the enticement of $5 billion about to given away in Race to the Top and i3 funds gives the secretary leverage, especially if he promises to ensure that this or that proposal gets “full and careful consideration”?’

‘Of course, such inducements would be a huge no-no

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