OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Republican congressional candidate who has railed against federal spending has been awarded around $370,000 in federal stimulus money distributed through a pair of Oklahoma Indian tribes.
A review of stimulus spending by The Associated Press shows companies owned by Markwayne Mullin received the money under contracts with the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations.
The payments were for plumbing at tribal housing projects and funded through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mullin has criticized federal spending. In a statement, he said "plumbing is plumbing" and that there was nothing wrong with taking stimulus money while criticizing government programs. He said the president's stimulus plan was a "horrible waste of tax dollars."
Markwayne Mullin told The Associated Press on Thursday that contracts awarded through the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations were competitively bid and that he was entirely unaware that a federal program he has criticized was the source of the money.
The owner and CEO of Mullin Plumbing, Mullin is also a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. Because of that, tribal officials say his company receives preferential treatment during the bid process, which is standard under Cherokee Nation law and the tribe's internal policy.
Mullin says he "totally disagrees" with the federal stimulus program.
He faces Democratic nominee Rob Wallace in the fall.
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9/5/2012 5:12:43 PM (GMT -5:00)