Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Citizens Against Government Waste Target Alabama Senator Shelby for Pork
Alabama senator Richard Shelby has been named Porker of the Month by Citizens Against Government Waste.
Back on May 26, I reported that Citizens Against Government Waste issued a report endorsing President Obama's proposal to cancel Constellation.
Today the government watchdog targeted U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), naming him the Porker of the Month for June 2010.
Shelby earned this distinction "for blocking the Obama administration's attempts to eliminate funding for the Constellation program, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program which is chronically behind schedule and over budget."
Sen. Shelby co-sponsored an amendment that would shield the program from proposed budget cuts to the fiscal year 2010 emergency war supplemental. "Americans are being forced to tighten their belts and the economy is limping along, but that doesn’t deter the porkers in Congress, like Sen. Shelby, who are still spending and rewarding government contractors orbiting the program. Sen. Shelby’s actions just perpetuate the notion that politicians in Washington are living on a completely different planet," said CAGW President Tom Schatz. "This would be the time to move toward a more competitive model for space exploration. It is outrageous for Sen. Shelby to object to the private sector's work on space exploration and characterize it as 'corporate welfare,' when his own actions are nothing but pure pork-barrel spending to contractors from his state."
CAGW was founded in 1984 as an offshoot of a Reagan administration effort to reduce government waste. It's officially a private non-partisan group, but its founder J. Peter Grace was a conservative Democrat who supported Reagan's tax cuts and was appointed by Reagan to address waste and ineffiency in the federal government.
UPDATE June 23, 2010 — I checked today's Huntsville Times online to see if they reported Shelby's "award," since Huntsville is the main beneficiary of Shelby's largesse. No mention so far, although I did find that Shelby was also named Porker of the Month in October 2007.
The Times reported on October 19, 2007:
... [T]he organization notes that Shelby earmarked $11 million to build a health services building at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, his alma mater. It was the largest of 401 earmarks worth $191.2 million in the Health Resources and Services Administration section of the 2008 spending bill for labor, health and education programs.