The Montana Policy Institute decided to check out where the federal stimulus package was "creating" jobs in the state. Much to its surprise, the number of Congressional districts in Montana has expanded, from one to thirteen!
According to MPI's press release written by Michael Noyes and distributed on the web:
BOZEMAN - The government-funded website that tracks stimulus spending is reporting jobs created and dollars received in congressional districts that don't exist.
According to recovery.gov, thirteen different congressional districts in the state reported receiving stimulus funds as of September 30. Montana has only one federal congressional district.
The majority of state spending and jobs listed on the site are in the congressional district marked "00." A spokesman from Congressman Denny Rehberg's (R) office said that is an accounting tool used to mark at-large districts.
However, jobs created or stimulus dollars spent were also reported in twelve other Montana districts, including the second, fifth, twelfth, and sixteenth.
Ed Pound, director of communications for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board which oversees the site, said his organization is accurately reporting the information that recipients provide. He said in some cases it appears recipients are entering the wrong congressional districts in their reports.
"People make errors, and we've found people are making errors in these reports," Pound said.
Visitors to the website are also able to track the dollars by project, he said.
Pound said he has received three phone calls about jobs listed in congressional districts that do not exist, including a call a couple of weeks earlier from Wyoming.
On Monday, media reports from a number of states including New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Kansas also claimed to have discovered stimulus dollars and jobs reported for districts that do not exist.
Seems to me Montana needs a readjustment to the number of representives it can send to the U.S. House of Representatives.