Much like their party’s representatives on Capitol Hill, partisan political groups on campus are taking on different messages regarding the government’s response to the financial crisis.
The College Republicans spent much of Friday voicing their criticism of the recently passed stimulus package outside the Marvin Center.
President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law Feb. 17 after significant partisan debate. Brandon Hines, College Republicans communications director, said through their “Bailout Awareness Day” event, the CRs hoped to educate people about the “pork,” or useless spending, in a bill that he says has nothing to do with stimulus or helping American families.
“It’s important to know what the Democratic congress is going to do,” said Hines, a junior. “Before or after the bill is passed, we need to keep talking and holding members accountable.”
Tayler Lofquist, membership director for the CRs, cited the $10 million in the bill slated to clean urban canals as representative of the bill’s waste.
At the event, the CRs handed out fake oversized checks to highlight the pork in the legislation. One check was paid to the order of Warner M. Butkus for “$738,000,000,000” for “your socialist spending,” authorized by “San Fran” Nancy Pelosi.
While the CRs were critical of the President and Democratic Congress, the College Democrats showed their support for Obama. A group of 45 CDs spent Thursday night in the Executive Office of the President on 18th and G streets sorting mail addressed to Obama, including letters from military veterans and elementary school students.
CDs communications director Matt Ingoglia said he anticipated five or 10 people to volunteer, but the 45 who attended exceeded his expectations.
“I would definitely do it again,” Ingoglia said. “It was a very meaningful way to interact with some pretty important tasks that need to get done for the government to function.”
The office of White House correspondence contacted the group for help because they are in need of more volunteers, said CD president Cory Struble.
“Working for a Democratic president in the White House is something none of us have ever had the experience of doing,” Struble said. “The crowd was enthusiastic to say the least.”
This article appeared in the February 23, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.