May this be the first flicker as they turn up the heat. This is the wrong time and place for bringing home the bacon or whatever cliché you choose. Both at the national and state level, voters want at least an effort to move away from such waste and disregard for the voters.
Humbling note: I rant much and often on the inadequacy of the Globe's reporting, or lack thereof. Lisa Wangsness has consistently done the best political coverage. The paper's recent history suggests they'll fire her in cost cutting. Let us hope not.
I bet that the Herald and Phoenix will join this chant. It's Readers Digest/Rush Limbaugh perfect for circulation. Self-serving legislators pander to their constituents with old-style pork. They tuck wasteful expenses into useful bills. Then they can go home saying, "See what I did for you." They expect campaign contributions and votes in exchange.
This is 2007. Voters say they are sick of that. They overwhelmingly elected a new executive team to bring progressive politics back to Massachusetts. That leads to several questions, including:
- Are voters fed up enough to give up their small local benefits for the larger good?
- Will the MSM pound on the most shameless legislators?
- Will publicizing these abuses cause voters to scream and even other legislators to out each other's pork barreling?
Put another way, these expenditures reduce the amount available for funding Gov. Deval Patrick's progressive policies. His aim to set foundations that will better our lives in general and many of which will produce job growth and other revenue enhancement. Pork that gets gobbled up in a single community and produces nothing are not in the same class.
The RD-style list of shame does not appear to be online. However, the print edition highlights a few of these, including:
- $100,000 — Mayflower II 50th anniversary celebration
- $350,000 — Melrose stadium lighting
- $25,000 — therapeutic horseback riding and other alternative therapies pilot program
- $150,000 — UMASS study of winter moth worm
Unfortunately, this article did not tie which piggy wanted to add which amendment to his or her trough. That must be part of future coverage.
Like our colonial heritage of the public stocks, shaming can only be good here.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, earmarks, pork barrel