It probably wasn’t the the kind of publicity our area wanted, but 60 Minutes, in an off-hand way, zeroed in on Floyd and the Crooked Road last weekend.
In a piece about Congressional Pork and the attempts of Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, to fight the “earmarks” that send billions of taxpayer money to favored projects of individual members of Congress, a graphic that highlighted specific programs included the “Crooked Road” line item sponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher.
“Buried in the fine print is $70 billion, give or take a billion or two,” reports CBS correspondent Morley Safer. “It is one subject members of Congress donâ€™t like talking about: earmarks. The $70 billion covers just this year’s crop of earmarks. Earmarks designate money for a multitude of hometown projects that may also benefit lobbyists and the industries they represent. Most of them are buried in the fine print of legislation and are seldom debated. Many say theyâ€™re one of Congressâ€™s dirty little secrets, that a good part of that $70 billion is pork â€“ government waste at its worst.”
Neither Safer or Flake mentioned The Crooked Road in the broadcast but the line item was clearly displayed in the cascade of budget items that flowed out from the screen.
“Rep. Flake is challenging $6 million for windmills to generate power on military bases, $500,000 for a swimming pool in Banning, Calif., $1 million to promote tourism in Kentucky, $750,000 for a new building at the Los Angeles County Fair, $1.5 million for a William Faulkner Museum in Mississippi,” Safer reported. “And he challenges a particularly mysterious item: $600,000 for the Center of End of Life Electronics in West Virginia.”
It’s not surprising that some of Boucher’s project would make the list. He’s a master of pork. That’s why he wins re-election so easily.