Sep 212005

While Sen. John McCain has raised the idea of "charitable pork" — lawmakers giving up pet projects to help Hurricane Katrina victims — and Montana is considering giving up the $4 million it received in a federal bill for a downtown parking garage, Alaska Sen. Don Young is proud to remain a "little oinker." Young, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has made sure that this year’s $295 billion transportation bill is "stuffed like a turkey" with projects for Alaska, including $223 million for a bridge larger than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate, to connect a town with 8,900 people to a town with 50 people. Another "bridge to nowhere" will cost $200 million, a project which the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce opposes. But in response to calls for giving up these pieces of pork to help efforts for Katrina reconstruction, Young has said, "They can kiss my ear!" and that he has "raised enough money to give back to them voluntarily."

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