Millions in stimulus dollars are apparently flowing to nonexistent congressional districts in Oklahoma because of data entry problems with the federal government’s Web site.
The tally includes $11.6 million to Oklahoma’s 25th Congressional District and $10 million to its 51st District. The state has just five congressional districts.
The errors have given plenty of ammunition to opponents of the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act, the $787 billion package of tax cuts and spending that passed earlier this year.
Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City, said she had little confidence in the stimulus data released so far. Fallin, who is running for governor, voted against the stimulus bill.
"I’ve been very disappointed to learn there is fraudulent information on the Web site as far as how many jobs have been created, and certainly with fake congressional district numbers that don’t match up to the five congressional seats Oklahoma has,” Fallin said.
The errors go beyond simple data entry mistakes, she said. They also don’t inspire much confidence in the government as debate over health care reform continues in Washington.
"We’re talking about turning over one-sixth of our economy and our personal health to the federal government, and here they can’t even administer the stimulus money and track it on a Web site,” Fallin said.
Where the money appears to be going
Data released through the government’s Recovery.gov Web site show Fallin’s district appears to be reaping the lion’s share of stimulus funding in Oklahoma.
A review of the data shows more than $1.3 billion in grants, loans and contracts have been awarded in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.
Data Watch blog