PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Over at Baseball Crank, a pretty unsatisfactory answer from a Congressman:
You may recall my effort, in connection with the “porkbusters” campaign, to get my Congressman, Gary Ackerman, to commit to give back local pork-barrel transportation spending (including money for parking lots, sidewalks, bike racks and public parks in Queens) to help offset the cost of Hurricane Katrina. Well, yesterday I received his response, which is set forth in full in the extended entry. As you can see, Ackerman fails to even acknowledge the question; his response includes not a word about transportation funding. Instead, he scrolls through the usual hot buttons – Iraq, tax cuts, no-bid contracts, etc. – and appears to oppose any effort to cut any spending of any kind.
Follow the link to read the whole thing. Meanwhile, here’s another unhapppy constituent:
It’s been over six weeks since I asked Colorado’s senators and representatives if they’d agree to cancel six specific Colorado pork projects to help pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. The blogosphere has moved on to PorkBusters v. 2.0. But today, I finally received a reply from my own representative, Dianne DeGette. Well, it purports to be a reply, although — like Salazar, Allard, and Udall before her — DeGette simply ignores my request for specific answers regarding six specific projects.
DeGette goes further, though, and has the nerve to actually misrepresent my position to me. I suppose she (or someone on her staff) thinks that if she tells me I agree with her, I will.
The full letter is reproduced, along with some more choice comments, and some kind words for Patricia Schroeder.
Karl Gallagher has another report:
I just got a call from Congresswoman Granger’s office. They wanted to let me know that next week the house would be voting on a $50-70 billion budget cut, affecting both mandatory and discretionary spending. Granger supports that, but doesn’t want to cut the $1m for economic development in Fort Worth next year. The problem with cutting that project is that the money wouldn’t be cut from the budget, just transferred to another state that wants it. I complained about that as a “small government conservative” and got some sympathy. Apparently it’s the “system” that drives it.
I’d have more respect for that argument if the system for appropriating that money wasn’t under the control of the Congress. But they made it and they can fix it. If it’s easier for them to go after the entitlements and do across-the-board cuts than give up single projects, great, but I’d like to see some real progress and it’s usually easier to tackle small targets than large.
Meanwhile, here’s an Alaskan perspective on pork: “Alaskans Can Be Proud…their congressional delegation is not only adept at Grand Larceny but also petty theft.”
But Mark Tapscott notes a small victory for Senator Coburn against pork. It’s pretty small, though.