Congressional Pig Book 2010
When Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released the first Congressional Pig Book in 1991, the group was a lonely voice in the pork-barrel wilderness. There was only modest objection to the 546 projects worth $3.2 billion, and “earmark” was virtually unknown. The one constant since then has been the undisputed reign of the King of Pork, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).
After Republicans took over Congress in 1994, pork-barrel projects started to be used as a currency of re-election. Over the following decade, they became a currency of corruption, and the explosion in earmarks to their peak at $29 billion in 2006 helped erase the Republican majority. The 9,129 projects in the 2010 Congressional Pig Book represent a 10.2 percent decline from the 10,160 projects identified in fiscal year 2009, and the $16.5 billion in cost is a 15.5 percent decrease from the $19.6 billion in pork in fiscal year 2009.
The reforms that were adopted when Democrats took over Congress in 2006 can be attributed to many years of work exposing earmarks, especially the outpouring of public outrage over projects such as $50,000,000 for an indoor rainforest in Iowa and $500,000 for a teapot museum in North Carolina.
The changes include greater transparency, with the names of members of Congress first appearing next to their requested projects in 2008; letters of request that identify where and why the money will be spent; and the elimination of earmarks named after sitting members of Congress in the House.
For fiscal year 2011, House Democrats are not requesting earmarks that go to for-profit entities; House Republicans are not requesting any earmarks (although there are both exceptions and definitional questions); not surprisingly, the Senate has rejected any limits on earmarks. None of these reforms are sufficient to eliminate all earmarks, so CAGW expects there will still be a 2011 Pig Book.
The transparency changes are far from perfect. The fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act contained 35 anonymous projects worth $6 billion, or 59 percent of the total pork in the bill. Out of the 9,129 projects in the 2010 Congressional Pig Book there were 9,048 requested projects worth $10 billion and 81 anonymous projects worth $6.5 billion.
The latest installment of CAGW’s 20-year exposé of pork-barrel spending includes $4,481,000 for wood utilization research, $300,000 for Carnegie Hall in New York City, and $200,000 for the Washington National Opera in the District of Columbia.
Following the exit of Alaska porker extraordinaire Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the state slipped to number four in pork per capita. Hawaii led the nation with $251 per capita ($326 million). The runners up were North Dakota with $197 per capita ($127 million) and West Virginia with $146 per capita ($265 million).
The projects in this year’s Congressional Pig Book Summary symbolize the most egregious and blatant examples of pork. As in previous years, all of the items in the Congressional Pig Book meet at least one of CAGW’s seven criteria, but most satisfy at least two:
- Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
- Not specifically authorized;
- Not competitively awarded;
- Not requested by the President;
- Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
- Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
- Serves only a local or special interest.
Appropriations for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and related agencies have always tempted members of Congress to feed themselves at the trough. Meet the new pork, same as the old pork: The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service transformed itself into the National Institute on Food and Agriculture, into which members poured tens of millions of dollars for many of the same old projects.
The fiscal year 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act had a 1.7 percent increase in projects, from 467 in fiscal year 2009 to 475 in fiscal year 2010, while dollar amounts increased by 12.9 percent, from $351.1 million in fiscal year 2009 to $396.5 million in fiscal year 2010.
$29,992,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for 27 projects, including: $4,000,000 for the Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center, Stoneville; $1,500,000 for Berryman Institute, Jack Berryman Institute, Utah and Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station; $1,002,000 for Mississippi Valley State University, curriculum development; $939,000 for the Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center; and $231,000 for e-commerce research, because no one knows how to go online.
$15,614,000 by Senate appropriator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for 12 projects, including: $2,000,000 for the Appalachian Fruit Laboratory, Kearneysville; $1,500,000 for the Dunloup Creek Watershed project; $500,000 for agriculture waste utilization research; and $400,000 for a computer vision engineer in Kearneysville.
$12,500,000 by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) for 13 projects, including: $2,750,000 for polymer research; $1,000,000 for wheat genetic research; $1,000,000 for a phosphorous reduction cooperative agreement through the Kansas Livestock Foundation; and $250,000 for workforce development and out-migration through the Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation (KFBF). In addition to the appropriation, KFBF has also applied for a $7 million stimulus grant for rural broadband deployment. To add insult to injury, the Kansas Farm Bureau, which is conveniently located at the same address as the foundation, had a fund balance of $98 million at the end of 2007.
$12,423,000 by Senate Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) for 11 projects, including: $4,000,000 for the Dairy Forage Agricultural Research Center, Prairie du Sac; $2,500,000 for the Dairy Forage Research Center, Marshfield; $950,000 for nutrition enhancement research; and $400,000 for the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. One of the institute’s projects is promoting “Slow Food.” As an answer to fast food, “Slow Food” has been, according to the institute’s website, “expanding over the past decade from dealing with issues of quality in cooking to include environmental and sustainable agriculture, social justice, and food sovereignty, among others.” It is not clear how Americans can eat social justice.
$9,355,000 by House Agriculture Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for 10 projects, including: $1,454,000 for mosquito trapping research/West Nile Virus, Gainesville, Florida; $401,000 for the Food Marketing Policy Center; and $300,000 for the Massaro Community Farm. This newly classified nonprofit organization brags about the USDA grant on its website: “This is another major milestone crossed in 2009: barn renovations, $300,000 USDA grant, and Family Fun day are just a few others. We certainly have much to be thankful for this year. Let’s not forget one more reason to be thankful, the opportunity given us by the Massaro brothers to continue their agricultural heritage.” They should really thank the taxpayers.
$4,841,000 for wood utilization research in 11 states requested by 13 senators and 10 representatives. This research has cost taxpayers $100 million since 1985. According to one of its sponsors, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), “current research topics and their benefits include: producing better wood composites, reinforced wood panels and lumber, improved strand placement in panel products, improved utilization of biomass for bioproducts including conversion of wood into new fuels and bioplastics to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign energy sources.” One would think that after 25 years of research all of the purposes for one of the world’s most basic construction materials would have been discovered. According to the website of the American Forest and Paper Association, “The US forest products industry accounts for approximately 6 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, placing it on par with the automotive and plastics industry. The industry generates more than $200 billion a year in sales and employs more than one million people earning $54 billion in annual payroll.” Taxpayers should not be sapped into subsidizing another multi-billion dollar industry.
$2,908,000 for shrimp aquaculture research in seven states requested by two senators and five representatives. Since 1985, $74.5 million has been appropriated for this research.
$2,573,000 for potato research in four states requested by five senators and four representatives. A September 23, 2009 article on MSNBC.com called McDonald’s “the holy grail for potato farmers.” The article stated, “Because McDonald’s buys more than 3.4 billion pounds of U.S. potatoes annually, it has the power to dictate whether a variety sprouts or winds up in the less-lucrative supermarket freezer’s crinklecut bin — or worse yet, banished to become dehydrated taters.” With such a vested interest in keeping the potato market alive, the private sector should pay for the research. Every taxpayer should get fries with that $2,573,000.
$775,000 for the Institute for Food Science and Engineering (IFSE) requested by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.). One of IFSE’s research areas is called “Pickle Science and Technology” which the institute’s website boasts, “is dedicated to increasing product value by improving production and quality of pickled vegetables. The program, which enjoys significant industry support, includes the annual national evaluation of pickled vegetable products.” With the continued spending of taxpayer money on initiatives like these, it is not surprising that taxpayers are in a financial pickle of more than $12.7 trillion in debt.
$693,000 for beef improvement research in Missouri and Texas by Senate appropriator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and House appropriator Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas). According to beef.org (the beef industry’s website), “Consumers’ love of great steaks and burgers, their confidence in the safety of U.S. beef and their renewed interest in the nutritional benefits of protein help create strong demand for beef. Consumer spending on beef was $76 billion in 2008 and has grown $26.9 billion since 1999. Per capita spending for beef in retail and foodservice was about $249 in 2008 — up about $50 from 2001. In 2008, per capita consumption of beef was 59.9 pounds, compared to 59.2 pounds for chicken.” Taxpayers have a real beef paying for this big fat earmark.
$349,000 for swine and other waste management by Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), House appropriator David Price (D-N.C.) and Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.).
$206,000 for wool research in three states (Montana, Texas and Wyoming) by Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas). Since 1995, CAGW has uncovered 14 earmarks worth $3,623,453 for wool research, always in those three states. According to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, “Shorn wool production in the United States was approximately 33 million pounds of greasy wool in 2008, down 5 percent from 2007… the average price paid for wool in 2008 was 99 cents per pound, with a total value of $32.5 million.” Congress shouldn’t wooly bully the American taxpayer.
$175,000 for urban horticulture and marketing requested by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.). According to USDA, “The goals of Windy City Harvest (WCH), a supporting organization of the Chicago Botanic Garden [CBG], are to provide Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood with urban agriculture training for low-income young adults with few job skills, access to locally-grown organic produce at area farmers markets, and a ‘green’ campus for the enrichment and enjoyment of all its residents.” At the end of 2007 (the latest IRS Form 990 available) the CBG had a fund balance of $120 million.
$98,000 for perennial wheat research requested by Senate appropriator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), House appropriator Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). Since 2003, there have been six earmarks worth $725,000, making this earmark perennial.
In fiscal year 2009, the number of earmarks in the CJS Appropriations Act decreased by 10.6 percent while the cost dropped by 6.3 percent from fiscal year 2008. This year, the number and total cost of earmarks fell again. The number of projects decreased by 2.5 percent, from 1,548 in fiscal year 2009 to 1,510 in fiscal year 2010. The cost went down by 23.7 percent, from $936.8 million to $714.4 million.
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, administered by the Department of Justice, accounted for 36.8 percent of the total number of earmarks (555) and 27.2 percent of the cost ($194.1 million). In fiscal year 2008, the Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool gave the COPS program a “results not demonstrated” rating, which “indicates that a program has not been able to develop acceptable performance goals or collect data to determine whether it is performing.”
$61,600,000 for 30 projects by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), including: $14,000,000 for the Cooperative Institute and Research Center for Southeast Weather and Hydrology at the University of Alabama; $6,000,000 for six projects for the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville; $1,000,000 for the Tools for Tolerance program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California; $250,000 for a wireless area network for the city of Hartselle (population 13,888); $200,000 for the Cherokee County Methamphetamine and Marijuana Reduction program; and $150,000 for Zelpha’s Cultural Development Corporation for the University of Alabama’s After-School Delinquency Prevention program.
$44,400,000 for 27 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $5,000,000 for the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology at the University of Mississippi; $3,700,000 for marine aquaculture lab operations at the University of Southern Mississippi; $2,000,000 for remote infrastructure monitoring of natural hazards at the University of Mississippi and the University of Hawaii; $1,000,000 for the Center for Marine Education and Research-Ocean Expo-Learning Center at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies; $1,000,000 for the University of Southern Mississippi for a technology industry partnership designed to transition space technologies into the commercial sector; and $500,000 for the University of Southern Mississippi for cannabis eradication.
$32,150,000 for 17 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), including: $6,000,000 for four projects for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service; $5,000,000 for the Hawaii Open Supercomputing Center at the University of Hawaii; $2,250,000 for coral research at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii; $1,000,000 for the Hawaii Marine Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation; $1,000,000 for the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative at the University of Hawaii; and $400,000 for Hawaii fisheries development at the Oceanic Institute.
$28,500,000 for 21 projects by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), including: $3,000,000 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration; $1,000,000 for at-risk youth mentoring programs at the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation; $500,000 for the Kennedy Krieger Institute Juvenile Delinquency Prevention program at Fort Meade; $500,000 for Episcopal Community Services of Maryland for the Jericho Workforce Development Initiative for ex-offenders; and $250,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.
$17,976,000 for 33 projects by House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), including: $1,500,000 for natural stream design and restoration at the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources; $500,000 for the West Liberty Emerging Minority Business Leaders program at West Liberty State College; $406,000 for an anti-recidivism prisoner education program at Glenville State College; and $300,000 for the Great Science Online program at Wheeling Jesuit University.
$17,895,000 for 41 projects by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), including: $250,000 for turtle protection funding and a Gulf of Mexico grouper fishery program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $200,000 for the National Coral Reef Institute at Nova Southeastern University; and $50,000 for a Gulf of Mexico recreational fishery electronic logbook pilot program at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
$9,650,000 for 31 projects by Senate appropriator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), including: $450,000 for East Stroudsburg University for a marine science consortium student-faculty research collaborative with NASA Goddard Wallops Flight Facility; $250,000 for nanomaterials research at Lehigh University; and $100,000 for Somerset County for the Confluence Cellular Communication Tower project.
$825,000 by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for the Commercial Fishermen Sustainability Initiative. According to Sen. Shaheen’s website, the money will be used by more than 300 of New Hampshire’s commercial and lobster fisherman to replace floating groundlines with sinking groundlines to prevent entanglement with wildlife. It seems that Congress is up to something “fishy” with more government handouts to select commercial industries.
$700,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and David Vitter (R-La.), House appropriators Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), and Reps. Joseph “Anh” Cao (R-La.) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas) for shrimp industry fishing research by the Southern Shrimp Alliance. According to the group’s website, it “is a non-profit alliance of members of the shrimp industry in eight states committed to preventing the continued deterioration of America’s domestic shrimp industry and to ensuring the industry's future viability.”
$500,000 by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) for the Solar Energy Laser Physics Program at Austin Peay State University. According to Rep. Tanner’s website, the earmark will be used to train people to work at the Hemlock Semiconductor Plant, which “will provide the company with a well-trained pool to fulfill its workforce requirements with 80 graduates per year -- more graduates than any single major at the university.” Hemlock Semiconductor is a joint venture between the Dow Corning Corporation and two Japanese companies; Dow Corning’s net income in 2009 was $579.6 million. What appears to be a training project at a local university is really a taxpayer-funded program for profitable private sector manufacturers of semiconductors and solar panels. The fact that the study of physics is still not cool in school doesn’t mean that Congress should give handouts to businesses.
$500,000 by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.) for the city of Newark to purchase emergency operations center interoperability equipment. On May 6, 2009, USA Today listed Newark as one of 26 entities that were ineligible for stimulus money because they had misused grant funds in the past. It certainly is a “Payne” for taxpayers to see their money being abused again.
$400,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) for Hawaii fisheries development in Waimanalo. According to Rep. Hirono’s request letter submitted to the House Appropriations Committee, the money will be used for the development of new information and technology for fisheries management and marine aquaculture development in Hawaii and the rest of the country.
$400,000 by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), House appropriator Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Albo Sires (D-N.J.) for the USA Swimming Foundation for the New Jersey Regional Youth Development Program.
$300,000 for two projects for youth soccer gang prevention initiatives: $200,000 for the U.S. Soccer Foundation in Washington, D.C. requested by House appropriator Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and $100,000 for the Starfinder Foundation in Philadelphia requested by House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.). These programs are a real kick in the shins of taxpayers.
$200,000 by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Reps. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) for lobster research at the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
$200,000 by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to the Camden City Municipal Government for a Camden Police Department Mobile Communications Center. According to a May 6, 2009 USA Today article, the Camden Police Department was not eligible for stimulus COPS money because the department already had $565,000 in existing grant violations that the city was unable to repay. Awarding earmarks to organizations that have a track record of abusing spending protocols does not protect and serve the taxpayers’ interests.
As usual, members of Congress used the Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Act as the major repository of pork. There is good and bad news. The bad news is that “anonymous” earmarks, or projects that do not list the name of any representative or senator, continue to represent more than 50 percent of the cost of the earmarks. The absence of such information violates congressional rules and contradicts repeated claims of more transparency in the appropriations process. The good news is that the total dollar amount spent on pork has decreased by 8 percent, from $11.2 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $10.3 billion in fiscal year 2010. The number of projects decreased by 17.8 percent, from 2,131 in fiscal year 2009 to 1,752 in fiscal year 2010.
$6,056,565,000 for 35 anonymous projects. This accounted for only 2 percent of the 1,754 earmarks, but 59 percent of the $10.2 billion cost of the bill, which is more than last year’s 57 percent. There were several big-ticket items, including: $825,000,000 for mine resistant ambush protected all terrain vehicles; $495,000,000 for nine additional F/A-18E/F Hornets aircraft; $300,000,000 for the Medical Transportation Institute; $250,000,000 for additional advance procurement funding for the DDG–51 Guided Missile Destroyer program; $170,000,000 for advance procurement funding for the LHA (replacement) helicopter assault ship; $142,000,000 for the E-2C (early warning) Hawkeye; and $1,875,000 for genetics studies of food allergies.
$2,500,000,000 for the procurement of ten C–17 aircraft. In a floor statement on September 30, 2009, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voiced his opposition to the C-17 funding: “That’s why the Administration ‘strongly objects’ to the addition of $2.5 billion in funding for these ten unrequested C-17 aircraft. The Department of Defense’s (DoD) own analyses shows that the 205 C-17s that the Air Force has or which are on order, together with the existing fleet of C-5 aircraft, are sufficient to meet the Department’s future airlift needs – even under the most stressing situations. So, I am absolutely convinced that we should not be having taxpayers put up $2.5 billion for these aircraft. Doing so not only misallocates procurement funds this year to buy expensive airplanes that are not needed, but it also imposes a continuing sustainment cost of $100 million dollars per year for every year thereafter for their operation.” This earmark was anonymous.
$465,000,000 for continued development and initial procurement of the alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The project has received $1.2 billion in pork since 2004. The Senate did not include any funds for the alternate engine in its version of the appropriations bill, but the House version prevailed in conference. On February 1, 2010 at his briefing on the fiscal year 2011 DOD budget, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, “I’m fully aware of the political pressure to continue building the C-17 and to proceed with an alternate engine for the F-35, so let me be clear. I will strongly recommend that the president veto any legislation that sustains the unnecessary continuation of these two programs.” On February 25, 2010, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell reiterated DOD’s position on the alternate engine, stating, “this money can clearly be better spent buying capabilities that our warfighters do need. This is a luxury we cannot afford.” No wonder that all 435 representatives and 100 senators refused to be identified with this massive waste of tax dollars.
$198,150,000 for 37 projects by Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), including: $23,000,000 for the Hawaii Federal Health Care Network (since 2001, nine projects worth $180,650,000 have been earmarked for this network); $10,000,000 for a Hawaii technology development venture; and $8,000,000 for the Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (CEROS). Since 1996, seven projects worth $47,600,000 have been earmarked for this center. According to its website, “CEROS solicits and supports innovative technologies for national maritime military applications and sustained technology-based economic development in Hawai’i through annual competitive Solicitations. Since 1993, CEROS has funded 256 technical projects for over $100 million. The CEROS program has supported the creation of 135 technology-based jobs in Hawaii.” That equates to $740,000 per job.
$181,200,000 for 50 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $8,100,000 for a DDG-51 hybrid drive system (Sen. Cochran asked for the hybrid drive system, yet the $250,000,000 for additional advance procurement for the DDG-51 program itself was anonymous); $7,840,000 for an extremely large, domestic expendable and reusable structures manufacturing center; $4,000,000 for the Army Center of Excellence in Acoustics, National Center for Physical Acoustics; $3,280,000 for the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group; $3,120,000 for online health services optimization; $2,400,000 for the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies; and $800,000 for a Historically Black Colleges and Universities applied research incubator.
$93,900,000 for 25 projects by Senate Defense Appropriations subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), including: $10,000,000 for four earmarks for the Joint Interagency Training and Education Center; $8,000,000 for the Smart Sensor Supercomputing Center; $7,000,000 for the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing Systems [according to a February 28, 2010 herald-dispatch.com article, “The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) is joining forces with Cabell County Career Technology Center (CCCTC) to offer evening welding classes to the Tri-State Area. It’s part of an effort enhance the pool of skilled workers available to industry.”]; and $800,000 for a West Virginia counter-drug program.
$69,880,000 for 22 projects by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), including: $12,000,000 for the laser phalanx; $9,600,000 for the Automated Composite Technologies and Manufacturing Center; $3,920,000 for a UAV sensor and maintenance development center; $3,600,000 for Dugway Field test improvements; $3,500,000 for TranSim driver training; $1,200,000 for optimizing natural language processing of open source intelligence; and $800,000 for an Army force generation synchronization tool.
$69,100,000 for 32 projects by Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), including $4,500,000 for the Northeast Counter-Drug Training Center and $1,600,000 for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining. One of the Defense Manufacturing Center’s current Alliance Partners is Concurrent Technologies. According to a March 11, 2010 New York Times article, “Limiting earmarks to nonprofit recipients is not necessarily a cure-all. For example, Representative John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat famous for his earmarking largess, set up the Concurrent Technologies Corporation in his district in the 1980s as a nonprofit research center for metalworking, and he helped guide more than $1 billion in defense earmarks to it before he died last month. Executives at Concurrent contributed frequently to Mr. Murtha’s campaigns. The group has come under scrutiny by F.B.I. investigators looking into pay-to-play allegations against the now-defunct lobbying firm P.M.A., which represented Concurrent and other clients that got earmarks.”
$65,600,000 for 25 projects by Senate Defense Appropriations subcommittee member Kit Bond (R-Mo.), including: $2,000,000 for a naval advanced electric launcher system; $5,000,000 for the Nanotechnology Enterprise Consortium [according to the consortium’s website, “In 2008, the University of Missouri, Senator Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond of Missouri, and the U.S. Army initiated the process to form a nanotechnology consortium in Missouri, dedicated to the growth of the nanotechnology industry. In January 2009, Nanotechnology Enterprises, Inc. (NEI), a nonprofit corporation was created and it is parent to the NanoTechnology Enterprise Consortium (NTEC).”]; and $1,600,000 for a military installation electric vehicle demonstration project.
$51,880,000 for 32 projects by House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee member James Moran (D-Va.), including: $4,000,000 for the Proton Therapy Institute at Hampton University; $1,600,000 for secure remote monitoring systems; and $1,200,000 for an Army portable oxygen concentration system. While the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct ruled on February 26, 2010 that Rep. Moran did not violate any rules or laws in collecting large campaign donations from individuals who work for entities that were recipients of earmarks, it still appears to taxpayers there is a quid pro quo. According to the Federal Election Commission’s database on campaign contributions, Ultra Electronic Precision Air Systems Inc., the recipient of the Army portable oxygen concentration system earmark, had five employees who donated to Rep. Moran’s campaign account in the quarter ending December 31, 2009.
$40,000,000 for 15 projects by House Defense Appropriations subcommittee member Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), including: $7,000,000 for advanced technology energy manufacturing sciences; $3,000,000 for the Armaments Academy in New Jersey; $1,600,000 for green armament and rangeSafe technology initiatives; and $1,600,000 for ink-based desktop electronic material technology.
$39,300,000 for 13 projects by House Defense Appropriations subcommittee member Kay Granger (R-Texas), including: $8,000,000 for the Army National Guard UH-60 rewiring program; $4,500,000 for a flashlight soldier-to-soldier combat identification system; $2,400,000 for intelligent energy control systems; and $1,500,000 for a mobile firing range for the Texas National Guard.
$33,540,000 for 15 projects by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), including: $4,480,000 for ultra light utility vehicles for the National Guard; $3,500,000 for polymeric web run-flat tire inserts for convoy protection; $3,000,000 for environmentally friendly nanometal electroplating processes for cadmium and chromium replacement; and $2,400,000 for advanced flexible solar photovoltaic technologies. According to Rep. Obey’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the solar earmark will be used for “developing flexible, rugged protective film barriers for solar charging systems in the field.” According to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s 2008 industry report, the stimulus bill supported $5.5 billion worth of government procurement of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. That should have been more than enough to include the cost of this earmark.
$20,000,000 by Senate appropriator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), and Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-La.) for the National World War II Museum. According to the museum’s 2007 IRS Form 990, it has net assets of $65,605,851. It would be great for taxpayers if the museum that is dedicated to “the Greatest Generation” remained earmark-free.
$18,900,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), then-Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. An August 12, 2008 Boston Globe article said, “planners hope the institute will include classroom space, research rooms, exhibits, and, most prominently, an exact replica of the US Senate chambers. The center will be a shrine to the Senate, with homage to Kennedy, just as the building next door is a showcase for the presidency, with the focus on his brother John.” The expenditure for this “shrine,” which has no defense-related purpose, does not seem like a prudent way to protect the taxpayers’ money.
$5,000,000 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the Presidio Heritage Center. A December 21, 2009 article in the San Francisco Chronicle described this ironic earmark as follows: “After the Presidio was included in a round of military base closures, Pelosi helped craft a public-private agreement to keep its valuable real estate from being carved up by developers. The congressional requirement promised that the park would be free of federal subsidies by 2013. The $5 million earmark will fund close to 25 percent of the center’s estimated renovation and help leverage other donations from corporations and foundations, said Tia Lombardi, director of public affairs at the Presidio Trust. In other words, the trust needs federal subsidies to lure private investment – so it no longer has to rely on federal subsidies.”
$3,000,000 by Senate appropriator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for the New Jersey Technology Center. According to Rep. Holt’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the earmark will be used for “creating a Technology Center that will utilize workers displaced as a result of Ft. Monmouth’s closure.” According to Fort Monmouth’s website, the majority of the organizations and personnel currently at Fort Monmouth will re-locate to other military facilities. This earmark provides no closure for the taxpayers.
$2,400,000 by House appropriator David Price (D-N.C.) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) for the secure open source initiative. According to Rep. Miller’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the earmark will be used for “a national Secure Open Source Institute (SOSI) at North Carolina State’s University Centennial Campus focused on making open source systems more secure, trusted, and efficient through conducting research, developing automated testing tools, providing qualification services, and incubating new open source businesses.” The federal government has a vendor neutral procurement policy regarding proprietary and open source software, which allows agencies to choose one type of software or a combination of both to meet its requirements. Members of Congress should not be picking one type of software over another by earmarking funds for open source projects.
$1,200,000 by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House appropriator Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for the American Museum of Natural History for infectious disease research. Funding museum research in a defense bill really bugs taxpayers.
$500,000 by Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) for a Brown Tree Snake program. Since 1996, 15 projects worth $15.1 million have been earmarked for interdiction of Brown Tree Snakes, which are still slithering through the appropriations bill.
Continuing the trend from fiscal year 2009, dollar totals in the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act declined dramatically. The total cost of projects was 45.5 percent less than fiscal year 2009, falling from $2.2 billion to $1.2 billion. Since fiscal year 2008, the cost of Energy and Water pork has declined by 68.4 percent. The number of projects decreased by 1.9 percent, from 957 in fiscal year 2009 to 939 in fiscal year 2010.
$80,722,000 for 18 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $22,413,000 for the Mississippi Delta headwaters project at Yazoo Basin; $10,000,000 for Mississippi environmental infrastructure; $10,000,000 for the Sustainable Energy Research Center; $2,000,000 for a cooling, heating, power (micro chip), and biofuel application center; and $1,200,000 for the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium.
$52,267,000 for 29 projects by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), including: $1,200,000 for the Alternate Energy School of the Future; $1,000,000 for Clark County Parks and Recreation for renewable energy initiatives; $1,000,000 for the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy at the University of Nevada, Reno; $800,000 for a program researching algae-based renewable energy for Nevada; and $200,000 for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe demonstration energy park.
$51,693,000 for 13 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), including: $15,000,000 for North Dakota environmental infrastructure; $7,000,000 for the Center for Biomass Utilization; $5,000,000 for the Center for Nanoscale Energy; $4,000,000 for fossil fuel research and development; $3,000,000 for the National Center for Hydrogen Technology; and $1,900,000 for energy work force development in North Dakota.
$51,250,000 for 12 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Bennett (R-Utah), including: $20,000,000 for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects in rural Utah; $8,000,000 for the Utah Center for Ultra Clean Coal Utilization and Heavy Oil Research; $3,500,000 for unconventional and renewable energy research utilizing computer simulations; $1,000,000 for the Arthur V. Watkins Dam feasibility study; and $600,000 for enhancement of the Intermountain Center for River Restoration and Rehabilitation.
$39,109,000 for 56 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), including: $2,800,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers general investigation of the South San Francisco shoreline; $1,878,000 for Army Corps of Engineers operation and maintenance at Crescent City Harbor; $1,406,000 for Army Corps of Engineers operation and maintenance at Marina del Rey; $969,000 for shoreline erosion control development and demonstration; $90,000 for a breakwater study of Long Beach; and $90,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers general investigation of Redwood City Harbor.
$35,387,000 for 11 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), including: $21,750,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers construction project at Island Creek; $3,000,000 for the Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems; $1,793,000 for a comprehensive study of the Ohio River basin; $1,417,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers construction project at Greenbrier River basin; and $538,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers general investigation at the Cherry River basin.
$31,237,000 for 36 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), including: $3,000,000 for research at the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology; $1,000,000 for solar panels in municipal-owned buildings; $750,000 for algae to ethanol research and evaluation; $500,000 for floodplain maps for Manalapan and Matchapon lakes; $180,000 for the municipal building energy efficient window replacement program; and $90,000 for alternative long-term nourishment of the New Jersey shoreline.
$24,413,000 for 20 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), including: $6,000,000 for a Hawaii renewable energy development venture; $6,000,000 for development of high yield feedstock and biomass conversion technology for development of high yield tropical feedstocks and biomass conversion; $181,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers general investigation of Maalaea Harbor; and $13,000 for modifications to Barbers Point Harbor.
$17,917,000 for 16 projects by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), including: $2,906,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers construction project at Shoalwater Bay; $2,846,000 for a special study of the Odessa subarea; $2,000,000 for algae biofuels research; $1,000,000 for development of the biofuels industry in Washington; $880,000 for the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at the University of Washington; and $462,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers general investigation of the Elliott Bay Seawall.
$17,692,000 for 14 projects by Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), including: $6,000,000 for an energy sustainability program; $500,000 for a regional sediment management demonstration program in southeast Oahu; and $100,000 for a rainfall analysis in Hawaii.
$4,900,000 for seven projects for smart grid technology projects by Senate Appropriations Committee member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), House appropriator Adam Schiff (D- Calif.), and Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Jared Polis (D- Colo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). The stimulus bill last year allocated $4 billion of taxpayer money for enhancing smart grid technology. While the purpose of smart grid technology is to reduce energy waste, it is not smart to waste tax dollars on these projects.
$1,800,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for a climate model evaluation program. According to a February 14, 2010 FoxNews.com article about funding for climate change research, “Last year’s budget provided $2.0 billion for the climate science program, a figure that doesn’t include the half a billion in stimulus money that the White House directed to global warming, as Obama’s science adviser recently told Congress.” Regardless of the debate over the issue of climate change, there should be a limit on how much Congress spends on this type of research.
$1,500,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), House appropriator Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), and Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.) for fuel cell research at Brown University. According to Brown’s website, in 2008 the university had an endowment of $2.7 billion. Congress should not be directing taxpayer dollars to projects at institutions that can easily afford to spend their own money.
$1,250,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for research into the long-term environmental and economic impacts of the development of a coal liquefaction sector in China. Sen. Byrd has directed $2,070,150 to this project over the past three years.
$1,000,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member John Tester (D-Mont.), Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) for wind turbine development. It doesn’t take Sancho Panza to see that tilting the taxpayers’ money at windmills is quixotic.
$500,000 by Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), and Diane Watson (D-Calif.) for street lighting fixtures for an energy efficiency retrofit project. During a time of high unemployment and record deficit spending, using taxpayer money on street lighting fixtures is a surefire way to darken the nation’s fiscal situation.
The number of projects in the Financial Services Appropriations Act increased by 2.3 percent, from 264 in fiscal year 2009 to 270 in fiscal year 2010, while the dollar amounts decreased by 55.4 percent, from $145.9 million in fiscal year 2009 to $65 million in fiscal year 2010. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has long been a bastion for pork, and this trend continued in fiscal year 2010 as the agency was the target of 260 projects, or 96.3 percent of the earmarks, and $58.8 million, or 90.4 percent of the total in the bill.
$4,300,000 for nine projects by Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), including: $700,000 for a workforce development initiative at Haymarket Center in Chicago; $500,000 for the McLean County Business Incubator at Illinois State University; $300,000 for a program for the Illinois State Library to expand access to Illinois public libraries; and $200,000 for a small business development center at Shawnee Community College.
$4,283,375 for nine projects for financial literacy/education programs by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), and House appropriators John Olver (D-Mass.) and Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), including: $3,150,000 for a financial education and pre-home ownership counseling demonstration project; $305,875 for a national program to improve financial literacy for the Girl Scouts of the USA; $250,000 for financial and technical assistance for the Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund; and $100,000 for employment and financial counseling and assistance for Project Ezrah Needs, Inc. A Congress that can’t balance the nation’s budget should not be dictating where money should go to teach financial literacy.
$984,000 for four projects for trade centers by Senate appropriator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), House appropriator Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.), and Reps. Henry Brown (R-S.C.), David Dreier (R-Calif.) and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.): $400,000 for the Wichita EcoPartnership for the Kansas World Trade Center; $350,000 for the Pomona Fairplex Trade and Conference Center; $134,000 for the Montana World Trade Center; and $100,000 for the Myrtle Beach International Trade and Conference Center.
$250,000 by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) for the Pennval Road Green Technology Incubator for the Township of Woodbridge. According to Rep. Lance’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the earmark will be used to “help redevelop a brownfields site on Pennval Road and establish a Green Technology Incubator as a means of attracting economic development and encouraging job growth in the Township and the region.” In April 2009, Rep. Lance won the distinction of being named a Porker of the Month for breaking his no earmark pledge with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.
$200,000 by House appropriator Marion Berry (D-Ark.) for the Arkansas Commercial Driver Training Institute at Arkansas State University-Newport. The corporate headquarters for two of the nation’s largest trucking companies, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. and ABF Freight Systems Inc., are located in Arkansas. According to Forbes.com, J.B. Hunt had sales of $3.8 billion in 2008. Funding a commercial driving school in a state with a large and profitable trucking industry is driving taxpayers crazy.
$200,000 by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) for education training and other small business assistance at the Bodega Association of the United States, Inc. Rep. Rangel had a selective memory when he filed his financial reports; unfortunately he did not forget to file his earmark requests.
$125,000 by House appropriator Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) for Pace University Lienhard School of Nursing in White Plains for a nursing workforce education and training initiative. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website, “Employment of Registered Nurses (RNs) is expected to grow much faster than the average and, because the occupation is very large, 581,500 new jobs will result, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation. Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.” With the industry facing strong growth prospects, there is no reason for Congress to nurse the taxpayers for scarce resources.
$100,000 by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) for the City of Bardstown for a downtown streetscape economic development project. According to Rep. Guthrie’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the earmark will be used for “a new water main for the city’s downtown area.” While there should not be any SBA earmarks, the fact that a water main earmark for an infrastructure project exists in this bill, rather than in the EDI section of the THUD bill, really does soak the taxpayers.
$100,000 by Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) to the Florida Department of Citrus in Lakeland for an abscission chemical for improved citrus harvesting. Rep. Putnam is retiring from Congress and running for Florida Agriculture Commissioner. According to his campaign website, he worked in his family’s citrus and cattle business prior to being elected to Congress. It appears that Rep. Putnam is steering money to an industry that he and his family benefit from as well as one that he will oversee as Commissioner of Agriculture. It appears that every parochial or personal interest is ripe enough for Congress to squeeze money from the taxpayers.
$50,000 by Sens. Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) for an export assistance webinar series for business education at the World Trade Center Institute in Delaware. According to the center’s website, corporate sponsors include Citizens Bank, which is a $148 billion commercial bank holding company. With help from companies like Citizens, there is no reason for U.S. citizens to get stuck with the check.
After declining over fiscal years 2008 and 2009 from its peak in fiscal year 2006 at $2.7 billion, Homeland Security pork increased in fiscal year 2010. Every dollar spent on earmarks adversely affects the internal security of the nation. The number of projects in the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Act increased by 53.1 percent, from 113 in fiscal year 2009 to 173 in fiscal year 2010, while the dollar amount increased by 5.7 percent, from $229.6 million in fiscal year 2009 to $242.8 million in fiscal year 2010.
$102,142,500 for 90 projects for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) State and Local Programs by 111 members of Congress, spread among 35 states, including towns such as Brigantine, New Jersey (population 12,647); Boerne, Texas (population 10,283); Alamosa, Colorado (population 8,745); and Shorter, Alabama (population 374). The amount directed to this program in fiscal year 2010 represents a 357.1 percent increase over the $22,345,000 spent in fiscal year 2009. Through State and Local Programs, FEMA attempts to prepare state and local governments to respond to incidences of terrorism or other catastrophic events. All of the funds should be distributed based on threat level priorities, rather than being based in part on which members of Congress are best at getting earmarks.
$39,700,000 by Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), for the Advanced Training Center. Sen. Byrd earmarked $39,700,000 for the center in both fiscal years 2008 and 2009, bringing the three-year total to $119,100,000. A July 7, 2006 CongressDaily article cited the duplicative nature of the Advanced Training Center: “But now at least one senior House Republican wants the expansion of the center stopped, saying it is not needed and is creating redundancies to training provided at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center [FLETC], which is headquartered in Glynco, Ga…Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., whose district includes the Glynco headquarters, said in an interview he will work to remove funding for the [CPB] Advanced Training Center expansion. ‘If it survived the Senate, we would work hard to get it killed in conference committee,’ said Kingston, vice chairman of the House Republican Conference. Kingston has been a staunch supporter of FLETC and said he is confident it can handle the training needs for CBP. ‘I don’t see any need for this advanced training center,’ he said.”
$24,636,064 for 58 projects for FEMA Predisaster Mitigation by members of Congress in 26 states, including towns such as La Grange Park, Illinois (population 13,000); and Brooksville, Kentucky (population 600). According to FEMA’s website, the purpose of the Predisaster Mitigation Program is to provide funds on a competitive basis to states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities, and universities for hazard mitigation planning and implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The recipient of the grant decides based on applications what entity is most deserving within its jurisdiction. Many members of Congress have criticized FEMA for its mismanagement of numerous programs over the past several years. However, they are making the agency’s job harder by forcing staff to administer projects that may not meet the competitive program’s criteria and usurping the agency’s authority.
$10,000,000 by House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) for the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS). According to its website, NIHS was organized in “2004 through the leadership of Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Harold ‘Hal’ Rogers. Congressman Rogers suggested organizing the higher education institutions of Kentucky to more effectively compete for research funds and projects aimed at improving homeland security. The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium resulted from his efforts. NIHS is the administrative manager for the Consortium.” In other words, the $10 million earmark is intended to help Kentucky’s colleges and universities seek and obtain earmarks. Rep. Rogers earmarked $11,000,000 for the NIHS in fiscal year 2009, bringing the two-year total to $21,000,000. The institute’s total revenue was $3.5 million at the end of 2007.
$800,000 by House appropriator Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) to Global Solar Energy for the portable solar charging rechargeable battery system. According to its website, Global Solar Energy is the only “…manufacturer in full-scale production of CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) PV cells on a flexible substrate.” The company claims, “Due to its highly efficient nature, and low cost of materials, CIGS has been called the wonder child, or market darling, of thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) materials business. Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets projects the CIGS PV market will grow from $403.1 million in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016. (Materials Markets for CIGS Photovoltaics, Jan. 2009).” When taking into account the growth industry in which the company operates, it should not receive any taxpayer assistance.
The most noteworthy aspect of the Interior Appropriations Act is the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program. Despite opposition from the current and previous administrations, SAT continues to be a prime spot for earmarks. President Obama’s Terminations, Reductions, and Savings supplement to the fiscal year 2011 budget stated that, “Although SAT and PA [Preserve America] programs use merit-based criteria to evaluate annual nominations for projects, the programs have not demonstrated how they contribute to National historic preservation goals. The programs lack rigorous performance metrics and evaluation efforts, so benefits remain unclear. At least half of SAT funding is provided without using merit-based criteria.”
While there are practically the same number of earmarks in the Interior Bill this year (548 in fiscal year 2010 compared to 543 in fiscal year 2009), the cost is $361.1 million, a 16.7 percent decrease from the $433.7 million in fiscal year 2009.
$43,650,000 for 24 projects by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), including: $10,000,000 for Emissions Reduction Grants to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District (two of the AQMD’s projects featured on its website are the “2010 Lawn Mower Exchange Program” and “How to create an eco-friendly kitchen”); $8,000,000 for Hunters Point Naval Shipyard environmental cleanup; $2,500,000 for United States Forest Service, Region 5, small forest products infrastructure assistance grants; $1,000,000 for land acquisition at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; $1,000,000 for the Angel Island Immigration Station; and $900,000 for the Manzanar National Historical Site.
$14,816,000 for 13 projects by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), including: $2,800,000 for land acquisition at the Monongahela National Forest, Dolly Sods Conservation Area; $1,521,000 for road improvements for the Monongahela National Forest; $1,025,000 for construction at the New River Gorge National River; $850,000 for trails at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge; $750,000 for the National Conservation Training Center; and $200,000 for the Capitol Theater in Wheeling. Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled to appear at the theater on April 22 with tickets ranging from $48 to $78, making this an earmark about nothing.
$9,850,000 for 13 projects by Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Bennett (R-Utah), including: $2,500,000 for land acquisition at Dixie National Forest (according to March 3, 2010 Los Angeles Times, “Utah legislators are proposing a novel way to deal with federal land -- seize it and develop it. The Utah House of Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development.”); $500,000 for Draper City for construction of a culinary reservoir; and $150,000 for the Historic Fisher Mansion Restoration Project. According to realestatenewsutah.com, “Donning a derby and three-piece suit, Mayor Ralph Becker announced the city has secured $150,000 from the Interior Department’s ‘Save Our Treasures’ program to begin renovating the city-owned Fisher Mansion… ‘We’re going to be cobbling together resources to preserve and restore this building,’ Becker said about beer baron Albert Fisher’s former home. He also reminded guests one of his first moves as mayor was to reverse course on the planned surplus sale of the mansion. ‘This is a community treasure.’”
$8,045,000 for seven projects by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), including: $4,000,000 for the Puget Sound Ecosystem Research Initiative at the University of Washington; $1,000,000 for the Seattle-Tacoma Regional Urban Forestry restoration project; and $180,000 for Schooner Adventuress restoration. According to Sound Experience, the nonprofit that operates the Adventuress, the ship “provides programs April through October. Approximately 3,000 youth and adults board her each year to learn her history, Puget Sound’s and the ways we can work together to protect the environment in which she sails. The program is actively supported by hundreds of volunteers who help crew for school groups, public day sails, week long trips and continue the work of historic preservation and restoration.”
$7,965,000 for eight projects by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), including: $2,265,000 for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail ($2,000,000 for land acquisition and $265,000 for construction); $2,000,000 for the Apostle Islands Lighthouse restoration; and $150,000 for restoration of the Bayfield historic courthouse.
$7,690,000 for 14 projects by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), including: $2,000,000 for construction at the California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center; $1,700,000 for the Water Research Foundation (at the end of 2007, it had a fund balance of $17 million); $350,000 for Lahontan cutthroat trout; and $200,000 for the Lincoln County Courthouse, Pioche. According to the Pioche Chamber of Commerce’s website, the city “enjoys old-west charm, mild summertime temperatures, fine trout fishing, hunting, and some of Nevada’s most scenic state parks. Pioche is an old town by western standards, with many of the buildings predating the turn of the 19th century. We are far enough from the beaten track to escape the blatant commercialism that has plagued many tourist towns, but yet we do have enough facilities to handle the modest summer crowds. Boot Hill, the million-dollar courthouse, the Thompson Opera House, and the town museum are must stops for visitors interested in the town’s past.”
$6,250,000 for 13 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $2,000,000 for construction at the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge for a visitor center/office; $900,000 for the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology; and $500,000 for the Madison County Courthouse.
$3,800,000 for six projects by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), including: $1,600,000 for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area trail ($1,200,000 for construction and maintenance and $400,000 for land acquisition); $1,000,000 for the Idaho Sage-Grouse Management Plan (according to the March 5, 2010 Baltimore Sun, “The Interior Department declared today that an iconic western bird deserves federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, but declined to offer that protection immediately - a split-decision that will allow oil and gas drilling to continue across large swaths of the mountainous West. ... For practical purposes, the ruling leaves sage grouse protection largely in the hands of states.”); and $150,000 for Historic Old Pen Site Stabilization Project.
$1,000,000 by Senate appropriator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C., which holds private events, offers catering, and is visited by tourists who are encouraged to leave donations.
$150,000 by House appropriator Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for restoration of the Sterling Opera House.
$150,000 by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee member Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) for restoration of Cottrill’s Opera House. According to the Vandalia Heritage Foundation, “The building’s owner, Alpine Heritage Preservation, will reuse the facility primarily as a live performance theatre with other complementary uses, returning the Cottrill’s Opera House to its role as a focal point of the Thomas community.” According to the May 11, 2006 State Journal, “The Vandalia Heritage Foundation and its sister group the Vandalia Redevelopment Corp. have come under fire recently. Like the High Tech Consortium, the two Vandalia non-profits were created by Mollohan and received millions of dollars in federal earmarks and grants in recent years. The Vandalia groups were established to rehabilitate and reuse historic buildings in northern West Virginia. The groups are run by one of the congressman’s former aides, Laura Kurtz Kuhns.”
Always a prime repository for pork, the fiscal year 2010 Labor/HHS Appropriations Act experienced a decline in projects and cost compared to fiscal year 2009. Project totals declined by 16.9 percent, from 2,153 in fiscal year 2009 to 1,789 in fiscal year 2010, while the cost declined by 18.6 percent, from $1 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $813.8 million in fiscal year 2010. The first five senators listed below brought home $254,573,000, or 31 percent of the total pork in the bill.
$99,182,000, or 12.2 percent of the total of $813.8 million, for 67 projects by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), including: $7,287,000 for the Iowa Department of Education to continue the Harkin Grant program ($32,633,000 has been earmarked for this program since 2005); $500,000 for exhibits at the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids; $500,000 for exhibits at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque; $400,000 for Orchestra Iowa to support a music education program; $400,000 to the AIB College of Business in Des Moines to continue recruiting and training captioners and court reporters and to provide scholarships to students; and $300,000 for the Iowa CareGivers Association in Des Moines for training and support of certified nurse assistants.
Sen. Harkin has long been a determined crusader for pork. In a November 25, 2006 New York Times article, he claimed, “I happen to be a supporter of earmarks, unabashedly. But I don’t call them earmarks. It is ‘Congressional directed spending.’”
$65,537,000 for 55 projects by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), including: $450,000 for preserving and digitizing recordings at the modern political library archives at the University of Mississippi; $300,000 for Delta State University for music education in rural areas; $300,000 for the American Music Archives at the University of Mississippi; $150,000 for Piney Woods School for science and technology curriculum development; $100,000 to archive newspaper and digital media at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; $100,000 for science education exhibits and outreach programs at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation; and $100,000 for the Delta Arts Alliance for arts education and curriculum development.
Perhaps the preeminent Congressional porker, Sen. Cochran has never been one to shy away from sticking his hooves in the taxpayer’s pockets. In a March 17, 2010 Politico article, Sen. Cochran claimed that he won’t be pressured into forgoing earmarks for one year just because House Republicans are doing so, stating, “I don’t have any guilt trips.”
$45,861,000 for 44 projects by Senate appropriator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), including: $550,000 for curriculum development and equipment purchasing at Caldwell College; $500,000 for purchasing equipment and curriculum development at Fairleigh Dickinson University (which has an endowment of $23,150,084); $300,000 for exhibits and educational programming at the Morris Museum in Morristown; and $150,000 for the West New York Board of Education to launch an alternative fuel education program and to purchase equipment.
$26,493,000 for 85 projects by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee member Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), including: $243,000 for a science, technology, engineering, and math education initiative at Harcum College; $100,000 for history education programs at the Army Heritage Center Foundation in Carlisle; $100,000 for science education programs and equipment purchasing at Cedar Crest College (which has an endowment of $18,138,926); $100,000 for Manchester Bidwell Corporation for job training programs at the Bidwell Training Center; $100,000 for the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia for weatherization job training programs; and $100,000 for internet-based foreign language programs at Carnegie Mellon University (which has an endowment of $1,061,625,145).
$17,500,000 for 28 projects by Senate appropriator Robert Bennett (R-Utah), including: $600,000 for curriculum development at Western Governors University; $500,000 for Weber State University for teacher education and curriculum development; $350,000 for facilities and equipment at Southern Utah University; and $250,000 for the I Won’t Cheat Foundation in Salt Lake City for an anti-steroids education program and awareness campaign.
$10,000,000 by Senate appropriator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) for the Denali Commission. The Denali Commission was established by then-Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in 1999, and the funding still continues beyond his retirement. Since 2000, 23 projects worth $288,313,000 have been earmarked for the commission, which provides utilities, infrastructure, and economic support throughout Alaska.
$800,000 by Senate Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for music education programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Since 2001, 11 projects worth $4,816,000 have been directed to Jazz at Lincoln Center, which had a fund balance of $195,763,243 as of June 30, 2008. While the list of senators requesting the project has changed, Rep. Nadler’s name has been linked to the project in every year that names have been attached to earmarks in the appropriations bills.
$300,000 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) for music education programs at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Tickets to see the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on September 30, 2010 range from $34 to $220. Since 2000, nine earmarks worth $8,550,000 have been earmarked for the landmark concert venue. Carnegie Hall had $401,662,000 in total assets as of June 30, 2009. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Earmark, earmark, earmark.
$225,000 by Senate appropriator Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) for restoration and installation of exhibits at the St. Louis Art Museum Foundation. The museum’s website states that admission is free, and that it has a “…per-capita attendance that is consistently among the highest of our nation’s art museums.” The museum had a fund balance of $148,434,857 as of December 31, 2007.
$200,000 by House appropriator Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) for exhibits and interactive displays at the Gig Harbor History Museum. According to its website, the Gig Harbor History Museum is 85 percent of the way to its goal of $11.1 million to open a new facility. No opening date has been set. If each of the 7,008 residents of Gig Harbor had paid $28.54, this burden on federal taxpayers could have been avoided.
$200,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) for assessments and educational programming at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. According to its website, the museum is the largest in the state, and “the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs.” The average cost of a ticket to the Bishop Museum is $16.45, and 243,799 people visited in fiscal year 2009. If the average price of a ticket was raised by 83 cents, this earmark would have been unnecessary. The Bishop Museum had a fund balance of $71,302,643 as of June 30, 2008. Sens. Inouye and Akaka combined to earmark 31 projects worth $49.6 million to Hawaii in the Labor/HHS bill.
$200,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. for set design, installation, and performing arts at libraries and schools. The Washington National Opera had a fund balance of $19,547,622 as of June 30, 2008.
$150,000 by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) for exhibits and interactive displays at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation in Buffalo. By paying 56 cents more on local taxes, residents of Buffalo could have paid for this project themselves. The foundation had a fund balance of $1,222,394 as of September 30, 2008. With this earmark, Rep. Slaughter is taking taxpayers for a “Rough Ride.”
$100,000 by House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) for the preservation of collections at the Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs. Rep. Lewis is giving taxpayers the cold shoulder with this earmark.
$100,000 by House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee member Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) for exhibits and education outreach at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center in Mobile. Federal taxpayers could have avoided the tab for this earmark if each of Mobile’s 191,022 residents had explored their bank accounts for an extra 53 cents.
$100,000 by Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) for career exploration and training for at-risk youths for jobs in filmmaking at the Duke Media Foundation in Hollywood.
Even though the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act rarely contains earmarks or controversial items, the fiscal year 2010 version increased spending by 6.8 percent, from $4.4 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2010 at a time when the nation was mired in a deep recession. As reported on September 30, 2009 by Politico, the bill includes increases for staff salaries and the Architect of the Capitol, as well as new money for parties for dignitaries, VIPs, and political consultants. The legislation also contains $500,000 so that senators can engage in a “pilot program” to send out postcards to their constituents about town hall meetings, which many members of Congress assiduously avoided in August, 2009, when the hot issue was healthcare reform.
The strangest aspect of this bill is that the lone earmark was requested anonymously. The number of projects decreased by 66.7 percent, from 3 in fiscal year 2009 to 1 in fiscal year 2010. The amount of pork dropped by 47.4 percent, from $380,000 in fiscal year 2009 to $200,000 in fiscal year 2010.
$200,000 for preserving, digitizing and making available historically and culturally significant materials related to the development of Nebraska and the American West at the Durham Museum in Omaha. According to the Durham Museum Foundation’s 2008 IRS Form 990, it has net assets of $18.2 million.
Following the theme from other appropriations bills, dollar totals dropped in the fiscal year 2010 Military Construction, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The cost of projects decreased by 15.4 percent, from $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2010, while the number of projects increased by 3.4 percent, from 176 in fiscal year 2009 to 182 in fiscal year 2010.
$38,172,000 for five projects by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.): $14,000,000 for Battle Creek Air National Guard Base for CNAF beddown facilities; $8,900,000 for Alpena to replace troop quarters; $7,732,000 for an organizational maintenance shop at Fort Custer; $7,100,000 for A–10 squad operations at Selfridge Air National Guard Base; and $440,000 for phase two of a barracks replacement program at Camp Grayling.
$32,991,000 for four projects by Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.): $19,500,000 for Shepherd Air Base in Martinsburg for C–5 taxiway upgrades; $10,990,000 for Sugar Grove NSGA for an emergency services center; $2,000,000 for St. Albans Armory for a life safety upgrade; and $501,000 for Logan/Mingo County for a readiness center.
$26,940,000 for five projects by Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.): $14,500,000 for Ellsworth Air Force Base to add/alter a deployment center; $9,840,000 for Camp Rapid ($7,890,000 for a joint forces HQ readiness center supplement and $1,950,000 to add/alter a troop medical clinic); and $2,600,000 for Joe Foss Field (two earmarks worth $1,300,000 each to add to a munitions maintenance complex and for above ground multi-cubicle magazine storage).
$26,360,000 by House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee member Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) for a fitness facility at Mayport Naval Station. The Jacksonville Snap Fitness Center is 10.5 miles from Mayport Naval Station, and offers membership for $44.95 a month. With the amount of money earmarked by Rep. Crenshaw, more than 48,800 year-long memberships could be purchased at Snap Fitness. According to GlobalSecurity.org, 60,400 active-duty personnel, family members, retirees, and civilian employees reside at Mayport Naval Station.
$21,900,000 for two projects funding chapels: $14,400,000 by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), and Reps. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) for a chapel complex at Fort Campbell, and $7,500,000 by Sens. Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) for a chapel center at Dover Air Force Base.
$2,000,000 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) for the Army National Guard in Carson City for renewable energy sustainable projects, which will focus on a plan to generate wind, solar, and geothermal energy. According to a June, 2004 study by the Heartland Institute, “generating electricity through wind power and other non-nuclear renewables costs twice as much as generating power from conventional sources.”
Once again the House and Senate certified the fiscal year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act as “earmark free.” Unfortunately for taxpayers, there are seven earmarks and they were not free – they cost $209.4 million. This is a 56.3 percent decrease in projects from fiscal year 2009, when there were 16 projects, and an 18.2 percent decrease in dollars from the $256 million in fiscal year 2009.
$17,000,000 added by the House for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). According to information on IFI’s website, the program was established in 1986 to promote economic and social advance and encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland. In a review of a glowing book about IFI released in January 2009, author Sean Donlon admitted, “While the fund will continue its work for the next couple of years it would be unreasonable to expect external support thereafter, especially in the current relatively stable political and security situation in Northern Ireland.” On June 17, 2009, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced H.R. 2915, which would prohibit funding for the program amid indications from supporters that IFI will be phased out in the near future. Language in the conference report indicated that fiscal year 2010 would be the last year the United States would contribute to the program. CAGW has identified $281 million for this project since 1995. It appears that only if taxpayers find a four leaf clover will this unnecessary program die.
$11,270,000 for the East-West Center in Hawaii. In a moment of rare candor, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) admitted in 2007, after receiving an award from the center, that there were no congressional hearings before the center was created in 1960; he noted that it came into existence without congressional hearings and over State Department opposition. The State Department, which was given the responsibility and funding for establishing the East-West Center, knew nothing about it, the senator said, and for years tried to kill it by not funding it in the annual budget request. The East-West Center is similar to the North-South Center, which stopped receiving federal funding in 2001. An April 3, 2009 Congressional Research Service report about the two centers said, “Congress has not funded the North-South Center since FY 2001, noting that it should be funded by the private sector.” Following that logic, the East-West Center should be funded by the private sector as well. It probably would be, except the center is located in the state of the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
$10,400,000 for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in the International Fisheries Commissions account. Among the activities that this earmark will fund, $6,500,000 will be used for expanded lamprey control and water quality improvements in the Lake Champlain Basin. Congress should really let the taxpayers off the hook and eliminate this earmark in the future.
Despite tens of billions of dollars being spent on transportation infrastructure through the stimulus bill, it is implausible to think that members of Congress would miss another opportunity like the THUD appropriations bill to spend even more money. While the bill is larded up with 1,483 earmarks totaling $1.2 billion, that is a 17.1 percent decrease from the 1,789 earmarks in 2009 and a 20 percent decrease from the $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2009.
Some of the most wasteful earmarks exist in the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) account. There are 404 EDI earmarks worth $173,087,070 in fiscal year 2010.
$68,819,750 for 61 projects by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), including: $2,948,000 for the I-5 Columbia River Crossing; $2,922,000 for the West Freight access project (which the Federal Railroad Administration admits is a “non-competitive grant”); $1,948,000 for the waterfront redevelopment access project; $1,948,000 for Fish Lake Trail completion; $800,000 for the Downtown Tacoma streetscapes improvement project; $730,500 for the Vehicle Research Institute (VRI) – Advanced Materials Transit Vehicle Design (Since VRI claims to be “one of the leading schools for automotive design in the region,” it should be funded by the automotive industry, not taxpayers); $487,000 for advanced materials in transport aircraft structures; $438,300 for New Futures, Seattle, for the planning, design, and construction of a community center; and $200,000 for Lakeview Trail, Mountlake Terrace Center to the Interurban Trail. According to a February 2010 Mountlake Terrace newsletter, “These projects will also aid redevelopment and revitalization efforts in the downtown as the city looks to generate economic development and ease the tax
burden on our residents.” City officials should know that the federal tax burden is increased with every earmark they receive.
$33,487,500 for 19 projects by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), including: $6,000,000 for the Third Street Light Rail-Central Subway project; $3,704,500 for Doyle Drive replacement, San Francisco; $974,000 for the Autumn Street Parkway in San Jose; and $725,000 for the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). According to a February 24, 2010 article in The Orange County Register, “The vision for the 16-acre ARTIC transportation center includes a mix of uses. The center would act as a regional hub for rail, bus, taxi and trolley service. It would replace the existing Metrolink site next to Angel Stadium.” In addition, “ARTIC will be about two miles from the Disneyland Resort and is expected to include connections to the theme-park area.”
$32,550,000 for 21 projects by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Kit Bond (R-Mo.), including: $2,500,000 for the KC Parks and Recreation Department, Kansas City, for the construction of a new community center; $2,000,000 for the St. Louis University Center for Aviation Safety Research; $2,000,000 for the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park Bypass; $1,600,000 for the Cape Girardeau Riverwalk Trail; and $1,000,000 for Brush Creek-Troost Avenue streetscape improvements. As a sign of Sen. Bond’s blind commitment to pork, fox4kc.com reported on February 26, 2010 that, “Sen. Bond has put a hold on the confirmation hearing of Martha Johnson until she agrees to move the GSA downtown.”
$20,234,100 for 22 projects by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), including: $2,922,000 for the Starr Road Interchange; $2,217,500 for SR-160 Nevada expansion; $974,000 for the I-15 Corridor of the Future; $535,700 for Nevada Pacific Parkway; and $194,800 for Community Chest, Virginia City for construction of a multi-use community center in Storey County.
$13,868,500 for 13 projects by House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Olver (D-Mass.), including: $2,500,000 for the MART North Leominster Commuter Rail Station parking structure; $1,000,000 for the Community Transportation Association of America National Joblinks Program; $750,000 for Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, for construction of a renewable energy training center; and $250,000 for the Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, for renovation and expansion. The museum charges for a number of events, including, “a hands-on demonstration in Pisanki - the tradition of decorating eggs and one of the most cherished cultural expressions of Polish heritage around the Easter holiday. Participants will leave with their own designed and hand-dyed Easter eggs. Fee is $30 per person”, and a “Trash to Treasure” in which “scouts and youths will use their creativity to turn castaways into fun and functional stuff, letting their imagination run wild in this hands-on session! $8 per person.”
$9,500,000 for nine projects by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), including: $2,000,000 for the city of Superior for expansion and improvement of a shipyard repair facility on the Great Lakes; $500,000 for reconstruction of Rib Mountain; $500,000 for the North West Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Spooner, for the expansion of business incubators in Rusk County, including infrastructure improvements; and $450,000 for the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.
$6,965,000 for 10 projects by House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Latham (R-Iowa), including: $1,050,000 for the West Grand Avenue extension; $500,000 for the Earthworks Engineering Research Center at Iowa State University; and $400,000 for city of Jefferson for streetscape improvements.
$2,000,000 by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and House appropriator Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) for the National Institute for Aviation Research. Listed among the institute’s “clients” are major aerospace companies, who should have paid for this program.
$1,000,000 by Senate appropriator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) for repairs, restoration, and modernization of a theatre and construction of an additional space at the Portsmouth Music Hall. As the recipient of a $400,000 earmark in 2004, the music hall keeps looking to the taxpayers to help it carry a tune.
$400,000 by House appropriator Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) for restoration and renovation of the historic Ritz Theater in Newburgh, N.Y. With the federal government’s limited resources, Congress should think twice before they put on the “ritz” for this kind of spending.
$400,000 by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) for construction and renovation for safety improvements at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. According to the garden’s 2008 financial statement, it had net assets worth $49,147,172 with an operating budget of $16.9 million. Unfortunately, Congress thinks money grows on trees since it is giving $400,000 to an organization with a healthy balance sheet when the federal government is more than $12.7 trillion in debt.
$392,000 by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) for a streetscape project in Dahlonega, Georgia. According to Rep. Deal’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the earmark will be used for “appropriate sidewalks, greenery, period lighting, and signage will be utilized to enhance tourism and economic development.” While a town can attract business based on aesthetic qualities, spending taxpayers’ money on signage and period lighting does not seem like a good “Deal.”
$350,000 by House appropriator Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) for renovation of the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia. There are six THUD earmarks worth $2,350,000 to fund theaters for which members of Congress must truly believe that “the pork show must go on.”
$250,000 by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) for building renovations for the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio. The theatre’s website states that it “is no longer the heart of the town’s activities -- the downtown itself, indeed has followed the old theatre’s fortunes -- but it is still the symbolic heart.” According to Rep. Turner, the mayor of Wilmington stated that some of the money will be used for updating the heating and air conditioning systems of the theatre. That will do little to warm the hearts of the taxpayers who get stuck with the bills.
$250,000 by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) for construction of the Monroe County Farmer’s Market. According to Rep. Whitfield’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, “funding will be used to construct a new market pavilion that would facilitate economic development and provide added benefits to the local community.”
$200,000 by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) for the expansion of the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York. The museum, which had a fund balance of $6.9 million at the end of 2008, brags that it “combines the dynamic imagery of a museum setting, with an historic mansion and the natural beauty of incredible gardens.” The website also details accounts of recent exhibits featuring works by famous impressionists Degas, Pissarro and Renoir. Taxpayers are starting to get the “impression” that their hard-earned dollars are being abused.
$200,000 by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) for design and construction of a small business incubator and multipurpose center in Scranton, Pennsylvania. As those who run real businesses know, they are always more productive than the government, even if “Michael Scott” is running the local office.
$194,800 by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for completion of the historic restoration project at the Historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. According to Slater Mill’s website, it is “one of the most visited sites in Rhode Island with 30,000 visitors per year, 80 years of preservation experience and long-term partnerships with major universities, public school systems, cultural heritage organizations, tourism agencies, museums, guilds, artists, the business community and many others.” The website also discloses that the admission fees are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for children. Besides being a popular destination, the organization does not appear to be on shaky financial footing. According to the Old Slater’s Mill Association 2008 IRS Form 990, it has net assets of $2,573,254.
$150,000 by House appropriator Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) for renovation and build out of the Pregones Theater in the Bronx. According to the theater’s website, a March 2010 performance of the Puerto Rican Symphonic Orchestra cost attendees $22 for regular admission. With admission prices like these, the theater organization should not look to the taxpayers to blow its horn.
$100,000 by House appropriator Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) for construction on the Santa Ana River Trail. According to Rep. Calvert’s letter of request to the House Appropriations Committee, the money will be used to construct a trail link between the two largest cities in Riverside County, Corona and Riverside.
This booklet was written by David E. Williams, vice president, policy; Sean Kennedy, research associate; and MacMillin Slobodien, media associate. It was edited by Thomas A. Schatz, president.