Friday, October 24, 2008

Lunsford's Wealth Blinds His Sense of Reality

Bruce Lunsford's wealth is so vast that he cannot fathom the good that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has done for Kentucky by procuring a half a trillion dollars in federal funding that would have gone to other states but for McConnell. Lunsford dismissed the federal money that McConnell won for Kentucky as the "little bit of money that Kentucky gets back," according to Politickerky. (Emphasis added.)

Only a really, really rich guy would call this scale of federal appropriations a "little bit of money."

Take just one Kentucky county as an example. McConnell's bus tour stopped in Christian County yesterday. McConnell directed to that county, according to his campaign:

• $214 million for projects at Fort Campbell.

• $800,000 for the completion of the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway.

• $200,000 for the Hopkinsville-Christian County Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force.

• $500,000 to assist St. Luke’s Free Clinic in Hopkinsville.

• Over $60 million in tobacco buyout funds for farmers.

And that's just for one county. But to Bruce Lunsford, it's chump change.

In addition to having no sense of what a half a trillion dollars of federal money means to a poor state, Lunsford makes the simplistic argument that earmarks are evil.

It is beyond dispute that the earmark process needs reform, and in particular needs more transparency. Any such reform, however, is best led by the executive branch, which has no dog in the hunt for earmarks. Sen. John. McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are in the best position to take on the issue of earmarks because they have done so before.

Until the system is changed, whoever represents Kentucky has an obligation to do as much good for our state as possible. That's part of the job of representing us in Congress. Even Rep. John Yarmuth gets that, and therefore boasted on the Francene show about the amount of "directed funding" he has directed to Kentucky.

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