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Virginia General Assembly Serves-up "Pork Pie"

Guess the Virginia General Assembly is just learning to be like their legislative colleagues in Congress, but the budget just passed in the 2006 General Assembly contains almost $37 million of pork, or bacon as its called in this editorial in Monday’s Newport News Daily Press. Heaven forbid, though, if we call it what it is. Virginia’s worthies in the General Assembly call it “aid to nonstate agencies” or “aid to the arts.” Whatever!

Some of the recipients? Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton ($1 million); Peninsula Fine Arts Center ($500,000); Birthplace of Country Music Alliance ($600,000); and Metropolitan Sports Backers ($25,000). The Daily Press didn’t question the worthiness of the projects, but said it’s the wrong way to fund the arts and culture. The paper listed a number of reasons of what’s wrong with the process, but foremost was that the recipient(s) and amounts depend on whether a project "catches the eye of a legislator, and whether that legislator has the clout to deliver." They also noted it’s against the Constitution.

As we’ve noted before, virtually all of the arts are funded by the private sector, thus putting any taxpayer money spent on the arts into the “pork category.” Sheesh!