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Thad Cochran oinks when he walks … hand out the pork

November 3rd, 2010

I received an interesting e-mail this morning from one of my Delta State alumni buddies in regard to the city of Cleveland receiving $1.1 million for construction of a boulevard and exercise trail in and around many athletic venues at DSU.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., pushed the project and made sure DSU was part of $3.3 million from the Federal Highway Administration for four projects in Mississippi.

But here is the question from my friend, who is a former DSU athlete with multiple Okra degrees …

I know this will look good, but is this “Pork Barrel?” If Cleveland wants something like this should it not be for them to do and not the tax payers? I support DSU and Cleveland, but I have to wonder how this is the taxpayers’ responsibility. I know that this type thing goes on at all of the universities, but that doesn’t make it right. Will this generate money back into the community and state to off set this expense? “Pork Barrel” to one is economic development to another. We have to start economic recovery somewhere, but where and when.

“Pork Barrel” should be stopped every where, at cities, towns and universities.

My response:

It is pork … But there two things that DSU and Thad can hang their hat on …

1. It’s transportation grant money set aside for something like this … The feeling would be that if DSU hadn’t gotten it, someone else would have … The money was budgeted for some type of project like this.

2. Safety … One of the reasons the grant was given was to alleviate game day traffic through a residential neighborhood, therefore reducing the chance of pedestrians being injured. It also solves a problem with folks in that neighborhood who have problems getting in and out of their houses during football and baseball season.

Having said all of that … It is still pork … And Cochran manages to divert more pork dollars than any other senator in congress … I have found it interesting in the last couple years with the uproar of the Tea Party and spending in Washington that Cochran has never been a target. Why is that? He is the free-est of free spenders, but because we are a poor state, he gets away with it. We are willing to hammer Gene Taylor for being aligned with Nancy Pelosi when he really isn’t. Yet Cochran gets a free pass.

I am for the the boulevard, but you are right.

Thanks,

Ross

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