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This Could Actually Make You Weep

From Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Oklahoma) Washington Waste of the Day for December 15, 2009, we learn:

“the Vidalia® Onion Committee and Chairperson of the Vidalia® Onion Museum Committee, was recently awarded $30,000 in funding that will bolster both Vidalia area tourism and the Vidalia® onion name.”

The above news story was reported by Georgia television station WTOC 11. The news story also reported:

“(The committee’s executive director Wendy) Brannen applied for two grants through the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) block grant program designed to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill, and once Brannen was notified by the GDA of the $30,000 potential allocation, the grants then had to receive federal approval.

“Twenty-thousand dollars will go towards completion of Brannen's pet project, the Vidalia® Onion Museum retrofit and renovation, which is now just 40-thousand dollars shy of the $215,000 total project cost. "I was absolutely floored that I managed to get this money from Block Grant Funding," Brannen gushed. "Honestly, I figured the hours spent writing this one would be in vain. The news felt like winning the lottery!"

“10-thousand dollars will go towards website renovations for the www.VidaliaOnion.org website, which is the Official Vidalia® Onion Website and is owned and maintained by the Vidalia® Onion Committee. Says Brannen of her plans for the site, "Like it or not, social media is a growing piece of the marketing pie. This infusion to our web budget will help us catch up. Yumion already has his own Facebook page (search for Yumion V. Onion to become his friend), but now we'll be able to Twitter, post Vidalia® onion recipe blogs, and so forth."

Remember this Vidalia onion story the next time you’re in the produce section of the grocery story. While the dollar amount may not be large, the example is just one of thousands where the Capitol Hill panjandrums send your tax dollars to special interests.


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