When Rep. Young was asked if cutting some pork Alaska was to receive from the bloated highway bill might be a good thing to help pay for Katrina's aftermath, he replied:
"They can kiss my ear!...That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard"
I learned two valuable things from that statement.
One, Alaskans drop "R"s from words just like Bostonians do. (conservatives, I know it may take you a while to get that joke, but just keep with it)
Two, Don Young is a class A Jack Ass.
The funds in question are for the infamous "two bridges to nowhere." While this may sound like an artsy fartsy film shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, I assure you it is quite real.
The first bridge would be built between the cities of Ketchikan and Gravina. The mammoth bridge, a mile long and just 20 feet shorter than the Golden Gate Bridge, would connect a population of two bustling cities. It connects Gravina, with a whole 50 people, to Ketchikan which is busting at the seems with 8000 people. This, for the mere total of $178 million dollars. And did I mention that taking the bridge would take longer than taking the ferry that already exists?
The second bridge, costing $223 million dollars, would span two miles to connect Anchorage with wetlands populated by a total of 23 people. But, Don Young probably feels it is worth the expense since the bridge would be named after him.
Does Rep. Don Young respond to the criticism of the bridges put forth by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal: "That same half a billion dollars (for the two Alaska bridges) could rebuild thousands of homes for suffering New Orleans evacuees."
The New York Times: "Surely Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the transportation committee, might put off that $223 million 'bridge to nowhere' in his state's outback. It's redundant now -- Louisiana suddenly has several bridges to nowhere."
That is easy for Young. He just points out that Louisiana made out ok in the Highway bill also.
Young went on, noting that Louisiana did quite well in his highway bill.
And, the congressman said, he helped the seafood industry donate more than $500,000 for hurricane victims. (That was at the "Seafood Invitational," a charity golf tournament Sept. 9 in Roslyn, Wash., Bishop reported Friday.)
"I raised enough money to give back to them voluntarily," he said, "and that's it!"
It is good to know that he gave $500,000 to the hurricane victims... no, wait. He didn't give the money... he just played golf.
Young scoffs at criticism of bridges