Using Federal Grants To Influence Voters

There is plenty of truth to the old suggestion that state highways departments tend to patch more potholes during election years. Office holders are eager for the public to really see their tax dollars at work.

It’s the same with presidents and members of Congress. If you want a federal grant, now is a good time to apply. Money is flowing out of Washington at a rapid pace.

Just during the past week, federal grant announcements included $563,256 for a mine safety and health training program in West Virginia, $13.1 million to improve access to health care for children in the Akron area, more than $1 million to “expand access to care” at two rural health clinics in West Virginia’s Wirt and Pendleton counties, $5 million in the same type of grants for Ohio, $1.2 million to provide job training to formerly incarcerated young people in Morgantown, and $12 million for online career counseling and training in the Columbus area.

They are all worthwhile programs, of course. But what happens when the federal grants are exhausted?

Either state funding has to be found or programs end. That happened this week when West Virginia cut 1,425 children from a day care program because federal money ran out.

Don’t blame state government for that – but you may want to think about political grantsmanship before voting in November.