"I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."
now, you might ask, how is Alaska being discriminated against? Is the federal government taking their right to vote? Is the federal government selling Alaska back to Russia? No. It is asking for pork barrel projects to be cut to help offset Katrina costs.
While I normally disagree with the man, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), introduced an amendment that would take all of the pork out of the transportation bill to pay for reconstruction in the Gulf Coast. I do applaud him for this effort.
What exactly is Stevens going to resign over? The $453 million for two Alaska bridges to "nowhere." That is right, nowhere. The two bridges would connect a total of 8053 people. 8053 people. One would connect an island of 23 to the main land. The other would connect a city of 8000 to a city of 50.
The good people of Alaska support giving the money back:
"This money, a gift from the people of Alaska, will represent more than just material aid; it will be a symbol for our beleaguered democracy," reads a typical letter to the Anchorage Daily News.
But when House Rep Don Young was asked to give back the money that would build a bridge to be named after him, he said:
"They can kiss my ear! That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard,"
Unfortunately, the amendment went down 82-12, meaning there was bipartisan greed going on.
For a Senate Foe of Pork Barrel Spending, Two Bridges Too Far