Arizona's Jeff Flake
This Republican congressman has even managed to impress some liberals I know for his tireless work on pointing out various earmarks and other pork in the bills that come through the House. He even has his "Egregious Earmarks of the Week" on his website. Here's the most current one-
Congressman Flake Spotlights Egregious Earmarks of the Week
$250,000 for the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York
Mesa, Arizona, Dec 1 - Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today highlighted pork projects contained in the Transportation-Treasury-HUD appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006.
This week's egregious earmarks: $250,000 for the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New York.
"When we're earmarking money for opera houses, it's no wonder the federal government is baroque," said Flake.
Jeff Flake's Website
Okay, now I suppose that funding for an opera house might actually belong in the 'Urban Development' section of the HUD part of that bill. But WHY, exactly is the Federal government giving an opera house in New Jersey a quarter of a million dollars? It's not that I have anything against opera, or New York, and I adore old theatres and the like. But why is it the business of the FEDERAL government to give them this money? That's where I have issue with it. If the state or city want to do so, great! I want to know which New York congresscritter snuck this one in to the bill.
Wow, take a look at the site for the Bardavon Opera House. It's really neat, and certainly worth preserving and restoring, but it's not considered a National Historic Landmark, so shouldn't the people of the state of New York be taking care of this beautiful building?
Much like the people of the Wheaton Illinois area are working to restore one of the theaters I went to as a kid, the Wheaton Grand.
It's hard to be consistent sometimes. Like I said, preserving and restoring old theaters is a passion of mine. But with only a few exceptions, the Federal Government shouldn't be in the business of funding them.