Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bridge to Nowhere still on budget

Never try to come between a guy and his rack of babyback ribs. The famous 'bridge to nowhere' that will serve some dozens of Alaskans is still, apparently sacrosanct.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a staunch opponent of pork barrel spending, tried to block $453 million for two Alaska bridges that had been tucked into the recent highway bill. Coburn wanted to redirect the money to the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, a major thoroughfare that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the veteran Alaska Republican, was dramatic in his response. "I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."

If ever a bluff was begging to be called, this is it. Later in that same article:
And, there is a curious twist to the story: Many residents of Alaska appear to support forfeiting the bridge money for hurricane relief. "This money, a gift from the people of Alaska, will represent more than just material aid; it will be a symbol for our beleaguered democracy," reads a typical letter to the Anchorage Daily News.
Why can't the American people find representation that actually represents them?


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