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Alaskan 'Bridge to Nowhere' Finally Dies . . . Almost

One never ceases to be amazed at the ways Members of Congress find to buy their constituents' votes with taxpayer money. A recent example was the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska -- recently featured on the cover of the November 6 Parade magazine, which comes with many Sunday newspapers. Parade reported that "Congress recently approved $223 million to build a bridge to a tiny island," i.e., Gravina Island, site of the Ketchikan Airport and a population of 50 people. The bridge first came to the attention of most Americans as the more conservative members of Congress sought to use the money from 'pork projects' to offset the cost to repair the infrastructure damaged by Hurrican Katrina. For more information by conservative members of the House of Representatives to to offset some of the costs from Hurricane Katrina, see our September 21 Growls.

A blogger at the Heritage Foundation correctly noted the bridge symbolized "a government run amok . . . The money still appropriated to Alaska, and the other pork projects in the highway bill are left untouched . . . No money is redirectred to higher priority national use." According to The Hill newspaper, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the Transportation Committee, became enraged during a closed-door caucus meeting and confronted two fellow congressmen, "excoriating them for lampooning his notorious 'Bridge to Nowhere' as a mulitimillion-dollar boondoggle." Sounds like a boondoggle to us, not to mention that the Alaska state government still gets to spend the money.