Yesterday, I posted a Juxtaposition of Priorities, which included a piece demonstrating that while the GOP is claiming they removed the funding for the ‘bridge to nowhere,’ they really didn’t. it seems that was not clear to everyone, so I will let Radley Balko explain it in clearer terms:
The blogosphere’s buzzing with talk that the infamous “Bridges to Nowhere” has been defunded.
This is smoke and mirrors. It’s a cheap stunt by the GOP to deflect public criticism that doesn’t really change much of anything. All the conference committee did was remove the earmark for the bridges. Alaska will still be getting the same obscene amount of money from the federal government, it’s just that the state won’t be required to use it to build those two particular bridges. It’ll be up to the executive and the state legislature to decide how to spend it.
Now it’s possible that the legislature, which seems to be at least a hair more reasonable than Alaska’s governor and congressional delegation, will nix the bridge idea. I’m not optimistic. But even if they do, the original half billion dollars earmarked for the bridges won’t go to more worthy projects like rebuilding the Gulf, or, better yet, back to the taxpayers. Instead of going toward Ted Stevens’, Don Young’s, and Lisa Murkowski’s pet projects, it’ll merely be redirected toward the pet projects of Gov. Frank Murkowski and the Alaska state legislature. And don’t forget, Murkowski, who’s wife owns land on Gravina Island, fought long and hard for this bridge, too.