By Sam Foster
First, Dan Maffei had no clue where stimulus money was being directed in his district and now he touts funding for a "vital airport" used by a social club for local pilots that is too small for commercial travel.
Mustard Street has great coverage in Master Maffei's latest gaffe via his own "Maffei-is-god" mailer to his constituents.
Checking out the accomplishments Maffei boasts about, I see a blurb about a grant for $500,000 for repaving a runway at the Williamson Airport in Wayne County. Next to the blurb is a photo of a commercial passenger airplane on a runway.
Does Dan Maffei know what he's talking about?
The Williamson Airport is a tiny airport owned by the Williamson Flying Club, a private social club for local pilots. I asked my cousin in Sodus, who's a pilot (not a member of the club) about the airport. No commercial passenger plane could land or take off there, because the runway's too short! Internet research confirmed this. And the proposed repaving won't lengthen the runway.
Makes you question whether Mr. Maffei has actually been to the Williamson Airport, whether he ever reviewed his taxpayer-funded mailing, or whether he reviewed what he was funding in the first place.
Or maybe the idea was just to throw a wad of money at anything at all in the district, to have something to talk about for re-election.
It certainly attracted the attention of the CBS Evening News, which used the Maffei funding of the airport as Exhibit A in a report on questionable uses of federal stimulus funds.
Maffei's largesse with our money also made the "Oh, My Gov!" website, devoted to chronicling "governments's wonders and blunders:"
One such airport is Williamson Flying Club in Upstate New York. The private club, whose members must be approved by a country club-like vote and pay a $345 membership fee plus $30 in monthly dues and fees, recently received $555,000 in stimulus money to repave its runway.
I suppose Maffei's logic is that no matter how wasteful the spending is reported, don't forget to add it to your campaign brochure.