Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Colorado Springs on Saturday for a campaign rally, and the local company that’s sponsoring the event has a business background that runs contrary to one of Romney’s headline-making stances.
Springs Fabrication specializes in metal engineering, and was awarded a government contract in November 2010 with funds from the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Obama signed into law in 2009.
Springs Fabrication was awarded the funding as a sub-award to work with Merrick & Co. on a project to upgrade the plumbing of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
According to the federal tracking site www.recovery.gov, which documents where stimulus money goes, Springs Fabrications was awarded $2.3 million for the project.
The controversial funding bill created a so-called economic stimulus, allocating $787 billion for schools, tax credits and construction projects across the country. That amount increased to $840 billion last year.
The Romney campaign did not respond to requests for comment about the Saturday rally at Springs Fabrication.
Republicans have blasted the measure for wasting hundreds of billions of dollars and failing to create lasting jobs. Romney has said in the past that he thinks the economy has worsened under Obama’s presidency, and that he never supported the stimulus.
“I have never supported the president’s Recovery Act, or the stimulus,” he said at a campaign event. “No time, nowhere, no how.”
Many of his political opponents, however, have called Romney a flip-flopper because he previously said that he thought a stimulus plan was needed to help the economy recover.
“I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2009.
Tom Neppl, president and CEO of Springs Fabrication, said he didn’t support the stimulus, but that he didn’t think much of accepting the contract when Merrick & Co. approached his company.
“They told me that was part of the Reinvestment Act. I didn’t pay that much attention to it. It wasn’t a big deal to us at the time,” Neppl said.
“When a good customer comes to you and asks you to do a project, you do the project,” he said.
Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio called Romney a chameleon and hypocrite.
“This is just more proof that Mitt Romney has a different message for every crowd that he talks to,” said Palacio. “Whatever he says, you’re always going to find instances where he has contradicted himself.”
The rally Saturday is at 2:45 p.m., 850 Aeroplaza Drive. It is open to the public.