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Arizona GOP congressional candidate Jesse Kelly has passed the official Republican officeholder’s personality test by demonstrating that the thing he most loves to talk about hating in public is also the very same thing he most loves to cuddle up with in private: stimulus dollars. (You probably thought for a minute there that we were going to say “penises in the mouth” or perhaps “Mexicans,” which would have also been informed guesses.) The family-run construction company owned by Kelly’s father and where Kelly also works has vacuumed up $60.8 million in stimulus and other government contracts since 2010, when Kelly lost his first bid for Gabrielle Giffords’ seat after running on a platform of opposing the federal stimulus program. This is also part of his current platform now that he is running again. But his campaign has a good defense! And it goes like this: “Well somebody had to take the money.” Principles to live by!

Why does the Kelly family construction company love socialism so much, Kelly campaign spokesbot?

“That would have been completely and totally absurd because it had no effect on whether the project would go forward or not,” [Kelly campaign spokesman John] Ellinwood said. “These projects were going to be done. Someone was going to get (the contract). … Somebody will be getting paid.”

Can’t let those dollar bills falling off the money tree hit the ground and rot!

And because Arizona does not ever half-ass its crazy, the Don Kelly Construction company relies on government-funded contracts for 90 percent of its work. This means the odds are good that Jesse Kelly’s salary is paid by the government, which means that like all wingnuts, his one overarching political instinct is to campaign constantly against his own self-interest:

Kelly told voters during his first campaign that his inspiration to run came out of opposition to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“I decided to run right after President Obama signed the stimulus that would indebt my 20-month-old son for the rest of his life,” Kelly told the conservative magazine National Review in 2010. He said the stimulus and federal earmarks were “bribery with taxpayer money.”


“I decided to run right after President Obama signed the stimulus that would indebt my 20-month-old son for the rest of his life help my 20-month-old son pay for college one day.” There, fixed.

[Arizona Republic; thanks to Wonkette operative “Sal Q.”]

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