the Citizens Against Government Waste CAGW has named Rep. Charles Taylor(R-N.C.) Porker of the Month for August 2006.
As House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Taylor shows no shame when it comes to flaunting pork. He was even invited to attend an exclusive reception in Asheville, N.C., for the infamous Sparta Teapot Museum. CAGW gave the museum the “Tempest in a Teapot” Oinker Award in its 2006 Congressional Pig Book for the $500,000 earmark it received in the fiscal 2006 Transportation/Treasury/Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act.
Rep. Taylor has not been shy about his appetite for pork. In a May 2006 letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Taylor’s chief of staff, Sean Dalton, proudly compared his boss to Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), two of the biggest porkers in Congress (The Hill, 7/26/2006). Sen. Byrd has embraced his title of “King of Pork,” while Sen. Stevens is well-known for defending the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Anyone who puts Sens. Byrd and Stevens on a pedestal is oblivious to the dire budget realities facing the government.
Rep. Taylor is well on his way to following in Sen. Stevens’ footsteps with his own so-called “Road to Nowhere.” The 30-mile road was promised to residents of Swain County in 1943 to replace one that was destroyed to create a lake and national park, but construction was stopped for environmental reasons in the late 1960’s and never resumed. Rep. Taylor wants to spend an estimated $590 million in federal funds to finally complete the road, despite the county’s willingness to give up the project in exchange for a smaller federal reimbursement of $52 million.
In the mold of Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), the senior Democrat on the House Ethics Committee who had to resign his post for securing millions of dollars in earmarks that may have benefited him personally, Rep. Taylor has come under fire for adding earmarks for the non-profit Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas (ERC), which he helped to create. The ERC gets 100 percent of its funding from government grants and ERC directors have contributed to Rep. Taylor’s campaigns.
For pigging out at the government trough and displaying shameless pride for bringing home the bacon, CAGW names Rep. Charles Taylor the Porker of the Month for August 2006.
Congratulations Congressman Taylor here’s hoping you and your friends get the message and change your ways. Maybe saying ”Pork is not my friend” 20 times a day will do the trick? – Again I’m not holding my breath!