GOP Candidate Hates Federal Spending, Even When It's Paying For 90 Percent Of His Company's Work

September 29, 2010 11:23 am ET — Kate Conway

Jesse Kelly

Arizona tea party candidate Jesse Kelly is adamantly against federal spending, but doesn't seem to be so adamantly opposed to hypocrisy.

Kelly, who is running for Congress in Arizona's 8th district against incumbent Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, isn't shy about declaring on his campaign website that the "stimulus has failed" and the "government cannot create jobs, as government has no resources of its own."

But Kelly's own job as a project manager for his family's contracting business benefits from government spending, including money from the Recovery Act. The company, Don Kelly Construction, regularly bids on multi-million dollar projects that receive a majority of their funding from the federal government.

According to Tucson Weekly:

Kelly himself estimates that close to 90 percent of the firm's work comes from government contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. And around the country, the firm — which is owned by Kelly's father, Don Kelly — frequently bids on public-works projects funded by both stimulus dollars and federal earmarks.

Yet Kelly's opinion of the government's commitment to fund 80 percent of one project his family's company took on  — the construction of a pipeline segment to provide water to people in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota — is that it "stinks."

In addition to being confused about what might be creating the jobs in his company, Kelly seems to be confused about what the federal government has been up to in other arenas. Tucson Weekly reports that Kelly blamed President Obama for killing Don Kelly Construction's ambitions to expand into a paving business, stating, "Well, guess what? Barack Obama gets elected, and he starts massively raising taxes. We aren't expanding anything right now."

As the article notes, however, taxes are at near-historical lows, and the president proposes to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for 97 percent of Americans.