DEFICIENT BRIDGES VERSUS EARMARKS - which is a higher priority?

A 2008 report by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 1 in 4 USA Bridges need repairs. - $140 Billion Price Tag to Repair and Modernize America's Bridges | America's Bridges Still Falling Down July 31, 2008 CBS News

In the 2007 funding bills, Congress is considering some 32,000 requests including a beach nourishment project in San Diego, Calif., a duplicative visitors' center in Louisiana, and the unnecessary National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown, Pa., located in Rep. John Murtha's district. FY08 House THUD earmarks | Taxpayers for Common Sense database | Roll Call's Earmark Report

The 1981 transportation bill contained only 10 earmarks. President Reagan vetoed a transportation bill in 1987 that contained 121 earmarks, saying, “I haven't seen this much lard since I handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair.” By 1991, there were 538 earmarks, by 1998 1,850. Earmarks, Pork and Federal Budgets documentary video on PBS | Mr. Heath Goes to Washington

"Lack of prioritization is a huge problem for our nation’s transportation system. Take the 2005 transportation bill as an example. Transportation spending increased by $12.5 billion per year over six years, yet twenty-percent of that increase was used to fund a significant increase in earmarks. This bill contained 6,373 earmarks worth more than $24 billion. And to make matters worse, Congress did so amid ample warnings that the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) would be broke before the bill expired. Even after it become well known that the HTF could be hundreds of millions in the red by fiscal year 2009, another 1,400 earmarks worth more than $2.2 billion were added by the Congress and the administration to this year’s House transportation spending bill." Taxpayers for Common Sense

"Yet, no other episode demonstrated the structural flaws in our political process more than the Senate’s lopsided 82-15 vote in defense of the “Bridge to Nowhere” in 2005. The actual amendment I offered went beyond striking the bridge and challenged Congress’ approach to spending priorities. The amendment would have redirected funding from two dubious Alaska bridge projects -- the Gravina “Bridge to Nowhere” and the Knik Arm Bridge -- costing a combined $452 million to reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge in Louisiana that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

This vote is instructive because it was about much more than the bridges. Eighty-two Senators were not as interested in defending the bridges as much as their perceived right to pork. Congress’ refusal to make rationale decisions about competing priorities continues to be at the heart of the ongoing culture of corruption in Washington. What is disturbing in Congress today are not debates about competing priorities, but Congress’ refusal to acknowledge its own responsibility to set priorities. " Senator Tom Coburn

Read this article - Should this bridge be open?

Every state has interstate highway bridges that government inspectors have deemed structurally deficient. That means a bridge's deck, main structure or foundation were deemed to be in poor condition or worse because of deterioration or damage.

  No. of bridges Deficient
bridges
Sen. or Rep. Earmark - sampling (some are proposed)
Amount
Alabama
1,169
29
 

Rep. Bud Cramer

Rep Artur Davis

Missile and Space Intelligence Center

National Voting Rights Interpretive Center

University of Alabama for “construction, renovation, equipment.

$17 million

2006 -$528,693

2007 - $1 million

$11 million

Alaska
184
29
 

Rep Don Young

Sen T. Stevens

Road in Florida

Pacific Alaskan Range Complex

Northern Line Extension road to North Pole {82 mile highway bwn 2 villages}

The SeaLife Center has received over $50 million in federal money since 1998 due to Stevens.

$10 million

$59,100,000

$4 million

Arizona
1,560
13
  Rep. Harry Mitchell Expand runways at Williams Gateway Airport. Mesa
$1.3 million
Arkansas
800
11
  Rep. John Boozman

Widening and extending the road in Bentonville, Arkansas that is the main access point to the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

$37 million
California
3,761
505
 

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

The Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center (EGCRC) Study alcohol abuse

Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center Education center to preserve the site of the U.S. Army’s first language school established in 1941

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, a public policy think tank

$5,500,000


$1,000,000

 

$231,000

Rep. Jerry Lewis

To fund the Lewis Center for Education Research

Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, for a Space Radiation Health Research Program

General Atomics

Innovative Federal Strategies (IFS)

$3 million

$2 million

$5 million

Rep. Henry Waxman Skirball Cultural Center for play ark
$550,000
Various Legislators Regents UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 2005
$126,557,790
Colorado
1,097
64
  Rep. Doug Lamborn Joint National Integration Center
$2.5 million
Connecticut
831
30
  Rep. John Larson Our Piece of the Pie in Hartford
$500,000
Delaware
92
2
 

 

 

 

Sen Joe Biden /Carper

Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, for the Achievement Matters! Initiative

Christiana Care Women First Community Center for Excellence to link healthcare providers and consumers to better serve gender and ethnic differences in health

Jewish Family Service, for a naturally occurring retirement community demonstration project

Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE, for construction, renovation and equipment.

Grand Opera House

$100,000

 

$200,000

$150,000

 

$500,000

$250,000

District of .Columbia.
64
2
 

Rep Jerry Lewis

 

 

Unknown

Unknown

Unspecific upgrades — possibly a giant decorative arch, kiosks for merchants and concrete stools

Forest City Southeast Federal Center and Anacostia Waterfront Improvements

Kennedy Center construction program, for replacement of the glass wall in the Grand Foyer

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

$500,000


$250,000


$3.8 million

$9,718,000

Florida
1,776
11
  Rep. Mahoney

Indian Street Bridge project in Martin, Florida $88 million

Sen Don Young Alaska coconut road earmark

$750,000

$10 million

Georgia
991
17
  Rep. Jim Marshall

Museum of Aviation Foundation

Massie Heritage Center for restoration of exhibits and equipment upgrades

Georgia Projects, Inc., for initiatives to assist English language learners.

Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Clayton College and State University for development of a Master of Arts in Archive degree program

$350,000

$950,000.00

 

$225,000

$500,000


$300,000

Hawaii
206
13
 

Sen. Daniel Inouye

 

Sen. Daniel Inouye

Chitosan bandage component which utilizes natural compounds found in shrimp heads

Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB) Army objects to this program

The Polynesian Voyaging Society

$4,500,000


$20 million


$250,000

Idaho
390
17
  Sen. Larry Craig

Historic Wilson Theatre in Rupert, ID,

1902 schoolhouse restoration project in Chesterfield, ID

Gold Creek Ranch

Weed control project - Cooperative Weed Management Areas in Idaho

$200,000

$450,000


$3.168 million

$1.5 million

Illinois
2,232
128
 

Rep. Rahm Emanuel

 

 

Rep. Jerry Costello

Academy for Urban School Leadership

Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake

Lincoln/Belmont/Ashland Avenues Streetscaping Project

Reconstruction of Mockingbird Lane and Stratford St Granite City IL

$800,000

$1 million


$3 million


$2,000,000


Sen B Obama

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

River Tech Boulevard Road

Center for Advanced Design, Research, and Exploration

Chicago State University 3 grants

Chicago Park District

Lewis University Airport to accomodate corp jets

$1,025,000

$1,595,000

$4,800,000


$9 million

$3 million

$3,420,000

Indiana
1,486
39
 

Rep. Dan Burton


Rep. Brad Ellsworth

Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center, Indiana

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Science Applications International Corporation

$2.5 million


$2 million

Iowa
646
56
    I235 Storm Water Management Providence
$1.5 million
Kansas
1,014
16
  Rep. Nancy Boyda Regional Prisons Museum
$1.18 million
Kentucky
751
23
 

Rep. Harold Rogers

Rep. Harold Rogers

2 earmarks for the Interstate 66 project in Kentucky

$1 million
Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium increased by 20 percent from 2006 level
$12 million
Louisiana
1,553
34
 

 


Rep. Rodney Alexander

City of Shreveport or renovations to a donated building

University of Louisiana at Monroe’s College of Pharmacy for building

University of Louisiana Business Center

Louisiana Tech University’s IDEA Place and SciTech Classroom

$250,000


$300,000


$450,000

$250,000

Maine
273
24
   

Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System

add a sidewalk to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge

The Franco-American Heritage Center

$4 million

$1 million


$300,000

Maryland
864
25
 

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger

Rep. Steny Hoyer

Rep. Steny Hoyer & Sen Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

"the national/tactical gateway"

In Tune Foundation Group

Extended ColdWeather Clothing System

College Park for blight removal along the Route 1 Corridor

Catoctin Aqueduct Project - to reconstruct a historic structure (built in 1832-34) as it appeared in the 19th Century, with cut stones, wrought iron rails and 3 beautiful stone arches.

$17 million

$450,000

$9,500,000

$700,000

2007 - $450,000

2008 - $450,000

Massachusetts
1,081
51
    Rep. Olver 16 earmarks including $275,000 for the private Barrington Stage Company to renovate the Berkshire Music Hall and Octagon House and $100,000 for a Massachusetts Landscape Connectivity Study T - $16.24 million
Michigan
1,196
194
   

Rep. Dingell

Rep. Knollenberg

Fish mass marketing equipment

11 earmarks including $250,000 for Walsh College, a private college, for completion of its library

Henry Ford Museum in Michigan

$2 million

T- $6.25 million

 

$1.5 million

Minnesota
715
30
    Rep. Jim Oberstar

Construction of Gitchi-Gami State Trail

Construct recreational visitor center

Construct a bike trail

Munger Trail extension

Heritage Center at the Grand
Portage National Monument

$900,000

$1,300,000

$540,000

$2,500,000

$1,400,000

T-$250 million

Mississippi
766
1
      MSU research and development and in industrial outreach.
$37.1 million
Missouri
1,026
31
    Sen. Kit Bond

Mid-America Research and Development Foundation

Brushcreek Beautification

$500,000

$250,000

Montana
818
8
   

Sen. Max Baucus

Daly Preservation Trust

$400,000
Nebraska
343
7
    Rep. Fortenberry

Antelope Valley Transportation Improvements

Girls and Boys Town USA, for construction of facilities at priority national projects

"The Company That Congress Built." - 21st Century Systems Inc.

$500,000


$250,000

$40 million

Nevada
473
5
   

Sen Harry Reid

Sen Harry Reid

Eradicate Mormon crickets

Post Office Museum in Las Vegas

Grant Sawyer Center Justice Education Program, for operating support and scholarships for judges in the Judicial Studies degree program

H.O.P.E. Center of Shade Tree Domestic Abuse Center

$20 million

$200,000

$200,000

 

$400,000

New Hampshire
361
31
     
Chocorua Village Safety Improvement Project
$500,000
New Jersey
1,053
27
      National Transit Institute
$4.3 million
New Mexico
880
76
     

Vallecitos High Country

Competitive grants under the Community Forest Restoration Act

Valles Caldera Trust for management activities at the Valles Caldera National Preserve
$2,025,000

$5 million

 

$4 million

New York

Brooklyn Bridge video on NYT site

2,090
104
   

Rep. Charles B. Rangel

 

 

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer

 

City College of New York for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service to prepare individuals for careers in public service, which may include establishing an endowment, library and archives for such center

WiFi Service of Albany

Fruit Belt Redevelopment Plan

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, for The Women’s Cancer Genomics Center.

Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, for the establishment of the Patient Safety Center.

Museum at Bethel Hills

New York Botanical Garden’s Virtual Herbarium

$3 million

 

$200,000

$1.6 million

$900,000

 

$500,000

$1 million

$500,000

North Carolina
983
40
     

South Corridor Light Rail project

Teapot Museum in Sparta

$55 million

$500,000

North Dakota
205
3
      Lewis and Clark Legacy Trail
$800,000
Ohio
2,288
70
   

 

Rep. David Hobson

 

 

 

Rep. S. Tubbs Jones

Canton Symphony Orchestra Association

Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association in Columbus, Ohio, which provides information about technology, legislative action, and law enforcement news to the Ohio sheriffs.

Transit improvements at Eastlake Stadium

Construct the Cleveland Towpath Trail

Ohio University Airport Improvements

Sherman Williams paint company

$100,000

$1,000,000

 

$4 million

$4,640,000

$800,000

$2 million

Oklahoma
1,114
190
     

Bus and Para-transit Vans - Oklahoma City

KIPP Reach College Preparatory in Oklahoma City

Downtown Lawton Revitalization Project

$300,000

$250,000

$250,000

Oregon
614
80
   

Rep. D. Hooley

 

Rep. Walden

 

 

 

 

Rep. David Wu

I 84 Sandy River Delta Project

Putting the OR in pork

“Floriculture and Nursery Crops” research in Beltsville, Md
Regional Barley Gene Mapping Project
Shellfish Genetics Research, Newport

Elk Creek Lake permanent trap facility

Middleford Commons City of Medford

Columbia Gorge Urban Waterfront Recreation Project

InSport Tshirts that melt onto Marines' skin

$1 million

 

$2.4 million
$675,000
$774,966

$11 million

$1,000,000

$2,500,000

$2 million

Pennsylvania
2,018
221
   

Rep. John Murtha

Rep. John Murtha

Rep. Bill Shuster

 

 

Rep Fattah

National Drug Intelligence Center

Southwest PA. Heritage Foundation

Road improvements around PSU professional baseball stadium.

Scranton Housing and Community Space Initiative

Community College of Allegheny County for technical education programs, lobbying, equipment

Philadelphia Art Museum’s main façade. wife on board

$23 million

$1.2 million

$500,000

$200,000

$8.5 million
2005 - $645,000

$100,000

Sen. Arlen Specter

 

 

 



Sen R. Casey & Specter

 

Sen R. Casey

Ben Franklin Museum in Phila

Susquehanna University (private) for lab equipment for a science facility

Dillerville Rail Yard Relocation project in Lancaster County

US Route 30/Harrisburg Pike Gateway Interchange Project,

Valley View Business Park Access Road in Lackawanna County

Phila, Univ. - National Textile Center (NTC): Funding to continue and enhance research currently conducted at a multi-university consortium

Medical Education Development Consortium, Scranton, PA, for construction

Reading’s Lighting and Street Enhancement Initiative

$2,000,000

$750,000

$1.5 million

$2 million

$1 million

$1,625,000


$1 million

$250,000

Rhode Island
137
33
   

Sen. Jack Reed

 

 

 

Sens. Reed & Whitehouse

Block Island State Airport to make more aircraft parking spaces

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

Old Slater Mill Association in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Meeting Street, Providence, Rhode Island for a rec. facility

Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
$920,000

$217,606

$248,000

$400,000

$1 million

South Carolina
709
18
      A bridge that will connect the two small towns of Lone Star (Pop. 1,066) and Rimini (Pop. 817)Road to Ruin
$27.08 Million
South Dakota
451
26
    Sen. John Thune South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
$3,335,000
Tennesse
1,423
37
     

Bike trail in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

$9 million
Texas
6,211
54
    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Temple for the Downtown Redevelopment/Performing Arts Center
$200,000
Utah
830
41
   

Sen. Orrin Hatch

 

Rep. Cannon

 

 

 

Rep. Matheson

Provo City downtown parking structure

The Legacy Highway Road to Ruin

Riverton City for reconstruction of a historic building for a senior center and community center

City of Eagle Mountain for park development to complete Phase I of the economic development area in Eagle Mountain City

Western Mining and Railroad Museum for construction and renovation of an addition to the museum to improve accessibility

$200,000

 

$300,000

 

$300,000

 

$150,000

Vermont
313
40
   

 

Rep Welch

Sen. P. Leahy

Snowmobile trails in Vermont

Highgate Recreational Center for renovation of a recreational center

to fund the celebration of Lake Champlain’s 400th Anniversary

$7 million

$200,000

 

$100,000

Virginia
1,648
49
   

 

Rep. Jo Ann Davis

Blue Ridge Music Center in Virginia

Mariner's Museum for promoting development and tourism related to the USS Monitor Center
$2.5 million

$100,000

Washington
937
10
   

Rep. Norm Dicks

Rep. Doc Hastings


Sens. P. Murray & Maria Cantwell

eponymous project Nat. Bur. for Asian Research in Seattle

Construction at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, WA


Northwest Maritime Center


$1.5 million

$250,000


$450,000

Sen. Patty Murray

Vegetable shelf-life research

Washington Family Forest Foundation to complete a State private landowner management database

Seattle's South Lake Union Streetcar

Sound Transit's light-rail project.

Olympic Discovery Trail/Elwha River pedestrian bridge Clallam County

Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club

$1.65 million

$1 million

$1.15 million

$100 million

$575,000

$500,000

West Virginia
654

49

   

Rep. Alan Mollohan

 

Rep. Capito

 

Rep. Mollohan

The New York Times (4/08/06) directed to five nonprofit organizations that he set up.

City of Romney for continued renovation and adaptive reuse of the Coca Cola Bottling Plant as a cultural arts center

Marion County for renovation, construction build out at the 4-H camp

Alpine Heritage Preservation for renovation and build out of the historic opera house
$250 million


$100,000

$150,000

$100,000

Wisconsin
1,130

96

    Rep. David Obey

CAP Services Inc. for capitalization of a revolving loan fund for small business development

North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission for capitalization of a revolving loan for new business development

Douglas County for extension of sewer and water utilities to the Parkland Industrial Park

$500,000

 

$400,000

 


$500,000

Wyoming
922

69

    Rep. Cubin Citizens for a Civic Auditorium for construction of a multipurpose Casper Civic Auditorium facility

Ark Memorial Foundation for completion of construction of a national Creative Arts Center

$200,000

 

$150,000

Source: The Road Improvement Project, 2005 survey    GovTrack.us  

What is an earmark?
An earmark is a line-item that is inserted into a bill to direct funds to a specific project or recipient without any public hearing or review. Members of Congress—both in the House and the Senate—use earmarks to direct funds to projects of their choice. Typically earmarks fund projects in the district of the House member or the state of the Senator who inserted it; the beneficiary of the funds can be a state or local agency or a private entity; often, the ultimate beneficiary is a political supporter of the legislator. Earmarks are the principal means by which Members of Congress “bring home the bacon.” Sunlight Foundation

Government Performance Project | Government Integrity - The Power of Facts from the Web

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