September 22nd, 2010
05:45 PM ET

Only 55 jobs created with $111 million in stimulus money?


An aerial photo of downtown Los Angeles. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's yet another glaring example of government inefficiency:

Two Los Angeles departments that received $111 million in federal stimulus money have only created 55 jobs so far. 55.

Reports by the city controller show that the Departments of Public Works and Transportation moved too slowly in spending the stimulus money - partly due to all the red tape. These agencies say they plan to create or retain 264 jobs once they spend all of the money.

The Department of Public Works, which got $71 million in stimulus money, has plans for projects like resurfacing streets and bridges and rebuilding sidewalks and storm drains.

That all sounds good - but these reports show it took eight months to put together bids, review them and then award the contracts.

As for the Department of Transportation, it's received almost $41 million to buy new buses, upgrade railroad crossings and put in new traffic signals. But the controller's report shows it took nearly a year to get approval to buy some of these buses.

Almost a year. Meanwhile, unemployment in Los Angeles is above 12 percent.

According to The Los Angeles Times, city officials wouldn't comment on the audit - but pointed to newer figures they have showing stimulus dollars at work.

Just imagine what the private sector could do with $111 million. For a $50,000 salary, you could directly hire more than 2,000 people. Not 55.

Here’s my question to you: Should two Los Angeles departments have been able to create more than 55 jobs with $111 million in stimulus money?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


September 22nd, 2010
04:49 PM ET

Why do Palin and O'Donnell attract so much attention?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It feels like Sarah Palin all over again.

Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell burst onto the national stage with her upset win in the primaries; and suddenly everyone can't seem to get enough of her.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/22/art.odonnell.jpg caption=" U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell smiles at supporters before doing a television interview at her Senate primary night party on September 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. "]
This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume - just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin.

O'Donnell has also been in the spotlight for saying years ago she "dabbled in witchcraft" and had one of her first dates with a witch "on a satanic altar." And she's used her views on abstinence to rule out masturbation.

After her last-minute cancellation of two Sunday show appearances over the weekend, O'Donnell announced Sarah Palin advised her not to do any more national media interviews, and instead focus on local media.

Based on Sarah Palin's disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that's probably not bad advice. I wonder if it means O'Donnell is as poorly informed on the issues as Sarah Palin was.

It all sounds so familiar. Palin's resume is littered with goofy comments like saying you can see Russia from Alaska or not being able to name a single newspaper she reads.

Palin quit as governor of Alaska midway through her first term. She often refuses to talk about lots of issues with the media, unless it's with the F-word network - which pays her.

But none of that seems to matter. Sarah Palin has become a huge celebrity who is seriously being talked about as a possible presidential contender. Just what we need. Remember the McCain campaign?

Here’s my question to you: Why do people like Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell attract so much attention?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?