Oh, Say, Can You D.C.: Ron Kirk and Tom Leppert at the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Dallas mayors former and current were in D.C. over the weekend for the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual winter meeting: Tom Leppert, to once more make Dallas's case for stimulus dough-re-mi; Ron Kirk, to calm mayors' fears concerning his unpopular position on free trade. Leppert, like every other in mayor in the country, has his hand out in expectation of scratching off a piece of that $825 billion stimulus plan. But he's worried the money will go elsewhere:

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said the plan would help his city's transit system buy buses that rely on alternative energy. He said he worried funds would end up plugging holes in state budgets instead of being spent on job-creating efforts such as infrastructure projects.

"If we take these dollars ... and we put it in for cities or states simply to make budget shortfalls, we're in the same position next year as we were last year," Leppert said.

As for Kirk, well, he's got his own issues -- like waiting for his confirmation as U.S. Trade Representative, which isn't even scheduled yet. Seems the Senate Finance Committee has other things to get to, like stimulatin' the economy and dealing with would-be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner's sure-to-be-heated confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Mark Cuban would have confirmed Kirk by now: "Ron is very smart and able to see all sides of a business issue. He will excel at this job."

In related news, Garth Brooks clearly thought he was playing a fraternity party at Oklahoma State.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky