American Action Network: “Rail”

The American Action Network dishonestly attacks congressional candidate Jose Hernandez (D-CA-10) for living in Texas, branding him as a cowboy and a carpetbagger even though the California native only lived outside the state while working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as an astronaut. The group also criticizes Hernandez for supporting high-speed rail as a way to create jobs, as well as the Recovery Act, which helped save the economy from an even deeper recession.

A California Valley Native, Hernandez Moved To Texas To Become An Astronaut

Jose Hernandez Has Deep Roots In The California Valley, Moved To Houston To Be An Astronaut Until Shuttle Program Ended. According to the Modesto Bee: “Hernandez is a newcomer to politics. He grew up primarily in Stockton, worked as a Bay Area engineer, moved to Houston to become an astronaut and flew on a space shuttle in 2009. The United States ended its shuttle program in 2011, and Hernandez moved back to California last winter to launch his campaign. He lives with relatives in Lodi now while his home is being built in Manteca.” [Modesto Bee, 9/15/12]

Jose Hernandez Went From ‘Toiling In California’s Farm Fields Alongside His Migrant Workers Parents To Moving To Houston In 2001 To Become An Astronaut. According to the Associated Press: “He toiled in California’s farm fields alongside his Mexican migrant worker parents and didn’t learn English until he was 12. Now Jose Hernandez, NASA astronaut, is about to rocket into orbit. His parents will be in Florida next week for space shuttle Discovery’s launch, as will his two older brothers and sister, who also worked the fields in the 1960s and 1970s… Hernandez, 47, vividly recalls being dusty, sweaty and tired in the back seat of the family’s car after a hard day of labor. His father would look back at his children and tell them, ‘Remember this feeling because if you guys don’t do well in school, this is your future.’ ‘That was pretty powerful,’ Hernandez recalled. All four took it to heart. Each graduated from high school and went to college. Discovery is scheduled to blast off in the wee hours of Tuesday. Seven astronauts will be on board for the space station supply run, including two Mexican-Americans, as it turns out, and a Swede. Hernandez moved to Houston in 2001 to work at Johnson Space Center as an engineer. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004, after 12 years of trying.” [Associated Press, 8/21/09]

Hernandez Supports High-Speed Rail As A Way To Improve Air Quality And Create Jobs

High-Speed Rail Will Facilitate Travel Between Northern And Southern California. According to CNN: “The line is envisioned to carry travelers between Los Angeles and San Diego in 80 minutes and, in the northern part of the state, will eventually connect to Sacramento, the authority said. In all, the 800 miles of track will include up to 24 stations, the authority said. Andy Kunz, president and CEO of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, said the California high-speed train will travel at 220 mph.” [, 7/19/12]

Hernandez: High Speed Rail “Will Create Job Opportunities For Years To Come.” From Jose Hernandez’ campaign website: “In a few years, the Central Valley will see the first High Speed Rail (HSR) trains bring another alternative for Southern Californians and Northern Californians to move around the state. It is important that we follow through on our commitment to HSR here in the Central Valley as a way to improve our air quality and lower gas prices. Years ago, many Bay Area residents doubted the BART Project, but today most couldn’t imagine living without it. Even the Interstate Highway System met with fierce opposition in the 1940s and 50s before being signed into law by President Eisenhower as part of the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Committing to big infrastructure projects like those that President Eisenhower committed to will create jobs and opportunities for years to come.” [Jose Hernandez for Congress, “Issues: Jobs,” accessed 10/25/12]

“Wasted” Recovery Act Created Jobs, Boosted GDP, And Cut Taxes

Recovery Act “Succeeded In…Protecting The Economy During The Worst Of The Recession.” From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 200,000 and 1.5 million jobs in March. In other words, between 200,000 and 1.5 million people employed in March owed their jobs to the Recovery Act. […] ARRA succeeded in its primary goal of protecting the economy during the worst of the recession. The CBO report finds that ARRA’s impact on jobs peaked in the third quarter of 2010, when up to 3.6 million people owed their jobs to the Recovery Act. Since then, the Act’s job impact has gradually declined as the economy recovers and certain provisions expire.” [, 5/29/12]

At Its Peak, Recovery Act Was Responsible For Up To 3.6 Million Jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office:

CBO estimates that ARRAs [sic] policies had the following effects in the third quarter of calendar year 2010:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 1.4 percent and 4.1 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2.0 million to 5.2 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers). [, 11/24/10]

Recovery Act Included $288 Billion In Tax Cuts. From PolitiFact: “Nearly a third of the cost of the stimulus, $288 billion, comes via tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The tax cuts include a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual. The tax cuts aren’t so much spending as money the government won’t get — so it can stay in the economy.” [, 2/17/10]

The Program That Backed The Solyndra Loan Was Designed To Take Some Losses

The Loan Guarantee Program Was Structured To Withstand – Even Expect – Some Defaults. From a blog post by Michael Mendelsohn, a Senior Financial Analyst at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory: “Importantly, the DOE Loan Guarantee program was never expected to be risk-free, but rather was designed to support a portfolio of promising energy technologies that, when combined, represent a manageable level of risk. Chadbourne’s Hansen argues that, ‘if the Loan Guarantee program has no defaults, it’s simply not taking on the risk it was designed to.  The overall risk of the portfolio is the critical metric, and for that, given the DOE’s conservative assessment of the projects, the credit subsidy costs provided under ARRA should provide the taxpayer plenty of insurance.’” [, 12/28/11]

Solyndra Was “Barely 1%” Of DOE’s Clean Energy Portfolio. From Time’s Swampland blog: “Nobody’s going to care that all successful loan programs have failures, that the Solyndra venture was barely 1% of the Energy Department’s $40 billion clean-energy portfolio, that there will still be over $2 billion in reserves for busted loans no matter how Solyndra shakes out.” [Time’s Swampland, 9/14/11]

Congress Set Aside $10 Billion For Losses. From Businessweek: “Congress set aside $10 billion in the clean-energy and auto loan programs for possible losses, and the Energy Department had initially anticipated as much as $5 billion in losses, [White House Spokesman Eric] Schultz said in an e-mail.” [Businessweek, 2/13/12]

[NARRATOR:] For over a decade Jose Hernandez hasn’t’ lived here, he’s lived in Texas. Now that’s he’s in California, Jose wants us to pay $68 billion for high speed rail. Not surprising, Jose supported the stimulus that wasted millions on failures like Solyndra. With high unemployment, foreclosures and massive debt, the last thing we need is a Texas sized boondoggle from someone who hasn’t’ lived here in 10 years. November 6th: say no way to Jose. American Action Network is responsible for the content of this advertising. [American Action Network via YouTube, 10/25/12]