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Stimulus data assign funds to fake districts in Oklahoma

BY PAUL MONIES Modified: November 19, 2009 at 6:43 am •  Published: November 19, 2009
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Th
at amount is almost half the state’s total stimulus haul to date.

But many of the large, direct awards that go to the state or state agencies are put in Fallin’s Oklahoma City district by default because it includes the state Capitol.

Meanwhile, about $433 million has been awarded in the 2nd Congressional District represented by Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, who voted for stimulus legislation.

Boren said a road to a new hospital in Muskogee is just one of many worthy projects in his district. He said transparency is a noble goal for the stimulus package and most of the information has been reported correctly.

"Anytime you deal with something this large, there are going to be errors, whether it’s the folks filling out the forms or the actual people running the Web site,” Boren said. "My hope is it will get corrected in short order.”

Just 27 Oklahoma reports listed congressional districts that don’t exist, according to the review. Still, that represents almost $25 million in stimulus awards, or almost 1 percent of the $2.77 billion awarded to Oklahoma so far.

"If there is a 51st District, I wish they’d send it all to the 2nd District, whatever’s left over,” Boren quipped. "We’ll take it.”

About $155 million from 433 separate stimulus reports in Oklahoma do not list a congressional district at all. The information is supposed to be mandatory, according to guidelines for recipients set by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board that oversees stimulus spending.

The Oklahoman’s Watchdog Team: Looking out for you. Visit NewsOK.com/watchdog

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Read past stories about the economic stimulus package, on NewsOK.com, keyword "stimulus.”

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