On the one hand, you’d want a senator from Minnesota to stand up for Minnesota interests. On the other hand, the most recent example of that happening illustrates the fact that the federal stimulus package is a porkfest of the first order.

In a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the Department of Energy, Sen. Al Franken spoke to Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy, about a federal loan guarantee to Sage Electrochromic, a Faribault-based firm. Franken told Chu, “I’d like to get this credit subsidy cost waived.” In other words, Secretary Chu, don’t charge the risk premium that ought to be charged to a company in my state.

Writing on the blog of the  Competitive Enterprise Institute, William Yeatman asks, “Is this not a shakedown?”

He concludes, “The primary Republican talking point for today’s hearing was that the government should not be picking and choosing winners and losers in the energy industry. Secretary Chu vigorously denied this accusation; Senator Franken proved it.”