DGA to GOP Guvs: Back Obama or Give $ Back

By Teddy Davis

Feb 20, 2009 1:54pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports: As the nation’s governors prepare to descend on Washington, D.C., this weekend for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, has issued a statement on behalf of his fellow Democratic governors calling on all Republican governors to back Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan — or to give up the federal money. "You can philosophize in D.C. all you want, but we in the states have to get things done," said Schweitzer in a written statement. "A Governor’s job is to deliver for people: to create good jobs, to keep criminals in prison, to educate our children, to make sure we have decent roads. This recovery package does that." "It’s a little late for Republican Governors to get high-minded about accepting federal dollars since this recovery legislation is only a small portion of all the federal money states receive," he added.  Some GOP governors — like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist — have been outspoken in their support of the stimulus. Others, however, have been sharp critics. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the chair of the Republican Governors Association, has been leading the charge against Obama’s plan. He has warned that the stimulus risks taking the U.S. from a free-market economy to a "savior-based economy" where businesses rise or fall depending on whether they are in the good graces of Washington, D.C.  Now that the stimulus bill has been signed into law, Sanford says he will look carefully at it to determine if the state of South Carolina will accept some of it, all of it, or none of it. Asked about the DGA’s criticism, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer dismissed it. "It’s politics as usual," said Sawyer. "I didn’t see a single Democrat who voted against the Bush tax cuts ask their constituents to return a check so they could remain consistent."

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