Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Impeachment: The Conversation Continues | Main | Recapturing Our "Childness" »

Story Update: Alaskan Pork

Taxpayers for Common Sense, an earmark watchdog group recently featured on THE JOURNAL, has helped bring to light, with the Associated Press, alleged earmark abuses by prominent Alaskan legislators, Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young. From the AP article:

More than 2,000 projects worth $7.5 billion have gone to Alaska since 2000, says Taxpayers for Common Sense. Alaska received a little over $1 billion in the 2005 highway bill.

A 2005-2007 study of earmarks by the group showed that Alaska _ ranked 47th in population _ has done far better than other states, when spending is calculated per person. Spending over the three-year period came to $4,311 per person in earmarked projects for Alaskans, while Hawaii was a distant second at $1,812. At the low end were the populous states of Texas, at $98 per person, and New York, $95 per person.

Part of the difference can be explained by Alaska's special needs, with its remote geography, rough terrain and extreme weather. But the clout of Stevens and Young also has played a huge role.

According to the AP, some of these 2000 earmark projects included:

  • $500,000 to the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, which used some of these funds to paint a Boeing 737 to look like a Chinook Salmon.
  • $1 million was set aside for mobile computers for police cars in Wasilla, Alaska, which has a population of 6,700.
  • $435,000 went to the Alaska Christian College in 2005, which had several dozen students at the time.

For an interactive map detailing earmark allocation by state, compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, click here.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/418

Comments

Excellent Gordon -- wish I could travel into the future. How about letting us Alaskans keep our oil royalties? We've pumped billions of barrels and billions of dollars (oil royalties) into your economy. I think we deserve some of that back. I think we deserve a bridge to connect the city of Ketchikan to its airport. Do you deserve your bridge and your highways?

This blatant government by bribery is the direct result of the 1976 ruling by the conservative Rehnquist Court, Buckley v. Valeo, that essentially says "Those with the money own the speech".

"We The People" will never get our country back or have functioning representatives in Washington until cold hard cash is removed from our broken electoral system.

Let's hope that the revelations about these shameful misappropriations of funds in combination with the scandals that are plaguing BOTH of Alska's senators will cause the residents of Seward's Ice Box to better pick their senators next time.

Wht we have learned two years after hurricane Katrina? Well, I've been in New Orleans since Sept 2nd 2007. What I've learned over the passed two years is that you can't trust the Federal Government to provide a provide assistance to the people. Sure they will help corporations, and governments with tax dollars but most of it will go to the same companies that are raking in billions from the war in Iraq. The Red Cross is even worse. They will take donations and act as though they our here to help but in reality they will take the money to help keep people from returning. It is all about the property and training to use war, terrorism, and natural disasters to bring about Marshal law.

Post a comment

THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

THE MOYERS BLOG
A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

Your Comments

Podcasts

THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

Click to subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe with another reader

Get the vodcast (help)

For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ