Monday, December 04, 2006

More on pork

Gannett News Service has an article here detailing some of the pork spending by New York State’s Legislature.
. . . the process is secretive.

Often, grants depend more on the seniority of the legislator and whether he or she is locked in a tight re-election battle, some say.

"We don't question the substance. Some are very worthy," said Rachel Leon of Common Cause, a watchdog group. "We question the process. The problem is how these member items get doled out. It's about power and seniority. ... Right now, what you get can depend on where you live."
. . .
A word search of the list of Assembly projects showed that "baseball" pops up 28 times, "tennis" 33 times, "parade" 22, "museum" 58, and "flag" eight.

We at Albany Catholic note that a number of projects on the list are of a Catholic nature, ranging from $5,000 to Catholic Charities of Broome County to purchase food for the food pantry to $50,000 for a statue of the late Msgr. John T. Fagan, who headed a social-services agency on Long Island. This leads us to ask whether the Catholic Church is part of the problem here. If everyone has their hands out for a slice of the pie, who will step forward to say this is a bad process that has to be fixed? Perhaps that is the political genius behind pork: “Give some to everyone so that no one will object” except maybe our children when the bill comes due and they have to pay it. Will the New York State Catholic Conference be weighing in on this issue any time soon?