On a Bridge to Nowhere
Thursday, November 17, 2005 :::
Chad provides a link to this item on Too Conservative about the possible defunding of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere."
It is heartening to see that this boondoggle may not be built, but before we get too excited, there's a lot more to this story.
As Radley Balko notes:
This is smoke and mirrors. It's a cheap stunt by the GOP to deflect public criticism that doesn't really change much of anything. All the conference committee did was remove the earmark for the bridges. Alaska will still be getting the same obscene amount of money from the federal government, it's just that the state won't be required to use it to build those two particular bridges. It'll be up to the executive and the state legislature to decide how to spend it.
Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, so to speak. He also ads this rather depressing nugget:
And incidentally, Ben Stevens, son of Ted Stevens, is president of the Alaska state senate. And it shouldn't surprise you to learn that he's been the target of multiple allegations of corruption, conflict of interest, and abusing his office for personal gain. Life father, like son.
One Stevens proposes, another Stevens disposes. And in the end, Alaska still gets a huge slug of federal money. Even more regrettable is that Alaska is not the only state reaping such largesse. A rather remarkable item appeared in the most recent edition of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts member's newsletter: a lengthy thank you letter to Rep. Eric Cantor for securing federal highway money to help the Museum build its new parking garage (around $800,000). Small beans compared to the "Bridge to Nowhere." But explain to me why taxpayers in Alaska should be paying for a parking garage in Richmond?
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 11/17/2005