“Paying for wind we don’t need, can’t use and can’t sell” Taxpayers already pay a high price to subsidize wind energy through billions in federal grants, loan guarantees and tax credits that prop up the “windustry”. Now the bill for state renewable energy mandates is coming due with hundreds of thousands of Minnesota electric co-op and utility customers picking up the tab. Going green cost rural electric ratepayers in Minnesota more than $70 million last year, according to the Minnesota Rural El...
Escalating cost of fiber materials raises questions for similar projects The recipient of a major federal stimulus grant and loan in southwestern Minnesota appears to be having second thoughts about proceeding with a broadband project spread out over three counties. The $15 million project which planned to expand broadband service in 15 communities may be in danger of going into the financial red zone, apparently due at least in part to the escalating costs of fiber optic cable. Woodstock Teleph...
St. Cloud Airport Gets One of First and Last Grants Under FAA Subsidy Program Set to End
The St. Cloud Regional Airport is banking on a recently announced $750,000 federal grant to land an airline at the airport that’s been virtually deserted since Delta terminated service in and out of St. Cloud in late 2009.
It’s enough to give government a good name, if not necessarily the federal stimulus program. After all, when’s the last time the recipients of a $1.7 million federal stimulus grant had second thoughts and sent the funding back to Washington? That’s what happened recently with a high-tech project in northern Minnesota in which a government giveaway turned into a rare government giveback.
Maybe there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but a deal in the works to bring a controversial $70 million broadband network to Lake and St. Louis counties comes pretty close, depending on which side of the county line you pay taxes.
Featuring: Woodbury and Eagan ice rinks, and FFM in the news!
FFM's Tom Steward's piece- Minnesota Communities go on Spending Spree Funded by Stimulus Bonds- was featured on BigGovernment.com.
Dozens of Minnesota cities and counties have taken advantage of a little known stimulus bond program, borrowing $684 million for projects that include municipal swimming pools, a multi-million dollar golf course renovation and a new mega-community center, a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota analysis shows.
Featuring: stimulus funded broadband in Anoka County, Tom Steward's Northstar Commuter Rail op-ed in MPR, and public employee compensation.
Significant Freedom Foundation of Minnesota research was cited in Timothy Carney's column in the Washington Examiner on a top energy official, the "cash for caulkers" program, and how she would profit from a company that has lobbied for the bill.
Featuring: DNR pier pressure, another stimulus shortcoming, and follow up on tax migration report.
VIDEO: CNN featured FFM in their video on stimulus funding for a bike trail in Minnesota. The video features FFM CEO Annette Meeks and discusses whether these dollars are being used wisely.
FFM's investigation into stimulus spending in non-existent zip codes was featured in the Review Messenger and also on KFGO, AM-790 in Fargo. The article describes how the Recovery.com website showed has some serious problems with its goal of tracking each dollar awarded from the stimulus package.
Not just for special interest groups like teachers, higher education, subsidized housing advocates, green energy contractors, arts groups, andgovernment workers at every level, but also for the media and watchdog organizations exposing thousands of nonexistent jobs supposedly saved or created by the binge spending, a not so transparent process and hundreds of phantom congressional districts.
Featuring: stimulus jobs update, Art Laffer and the true costs of health care reform, the premiere of Not Evil Just Wrong, and Minnesota's own ACORN whistle blower.
While Minnesota ranks eleventh highest per capita among states in stimulus funding received or in the pipeline as of mid-summer, a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) survey of stimulus funding data sources shows the amount and potential local impact of that spending varies widely from a low of $21 per resident of Scott County to a high of $1,005 per resident of Big Stone County.
Featuring: update on tracking stimulus money, watchdogs unleashed after FFM training session, follow FFM on Twitter and Facebook, and a call for interns.
As the federal stimulus package continues to balloon closer to $1 trillion on the fast track to passage, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota released a top ten list of the worst funding requests submitted by Minnesota cities as part of the process.
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