Posted: 03/04/08 15:50
by Dave Mindeman
Here is another one of those GOP mysteries. I noticed this in our local weekly paper:
Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, noted that Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transit funding was in the Senate bill and expressed thanks. "It kind of left us hanging and scrambling a bit," he said of the funding request not being found in the governor's bill. Gerlach also stressed the need for funding the Dakota County Vermilion Empire Wetland Wildlife Area ? they're looking for $4 million.
Now, it seems to me that the BRT and Vermilion Wetland requests would be classified as special funding line items for a particular district in an omnibus bonding bill.
In other words....earmarks.
Now before I go furthur, I wholeheartedly agree that these items are worthy of moving forward.... it's just the political irony.
Senator Gerlach was worried that these requests were left out of the Governor's proposal. Yet, he expressed "thanks" that the Senate version included them.
What's odd about that picture?
I have heard Senator Gerlach rail against excessive spending...and I am sure we will hear it again. But it is that age old rationalization: If it is a funding request for another district -- it is waste. If it is for "my" district, it is a legitimate need.
Sen. Gerlach is not alone:
Rep. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, complained that a lot of good, local projects of his were left out of the bill. "I'm very disappointed," Koering said.
Ironic that Koering is "disappointed" when the article also points out:
Bonding ? $5 million ? is found in both bills for the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Training Center proposed for Camp Ripley.
As we go forward and you hear the Republicans rail against the "pork" laden bonding bill, I hope you will think about Sen. Gerlach and Sen. Koering....bringing home the "bacon".