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Senate Strips Earmarks From 'bridges To Nowhere'


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Thank Goodness! 320 million to connect 14k to 50 people on an Island that has an airport with 6 flights and half empty boat rides to it... Please...

that is 1 step of many... Again with the Ethics committee and the other Repub wanting a bridge to end on her families land.. pssst... fired!


Statement by Sierra Club Executive Director, Carl Pope

The Senate Appropriations Committee removed earmarks for two controversial "bridges to nowhere" in Alaska: the Gravina bridge, which would connect Ketchikan to an island of 50 people, and the Knik Arm bridge, which would link Anchorage to a sparsely populated area. The projects have been the subject of strong criticism because of the general backlog of existing roads and bridges in desperate need of repair, especially those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. According to the National Association of Civil Engineers, one in four bridges nationwide is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, not including the damage from Katrina and Rita.

The issue has been particularly controversial for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who has served as a strong advocate for the Gravina bridge despite the fact that her family owns 33-acres of undeveloped land 3/4 of a mile from the point where the bridge would touch down. Since the State would now decide how the money would be spent, her father, Governor Frank Murkowski, would now face the same ethical scrutiny.

Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, responded to the news with the following statement:

"Most Americans are risking their lives driving on crumbling roads and bridges that don't get fixed because there simply isn't enough money. That explains why there was such a visceral public reaction to the idea of wasting national tax dollars on two bridges to nowhere in Alaska.

"Removing the budget earmarks for these projects is absolutely the right thing to do, but it doesn't actually mean the money will go where it is needed most, namely to fixing our nation's existing roads and bridges. We are particularly disappointed that the money was not redirected to rebuilding transportation infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.

"There are still outstanding ethical issues that have not been addressed. We have voiced concerns about the role that Senator Lisa Murkowski played advocating for the Gravina bridge despite the fact that the project would likely benefit her family personally. Passing the buck onto the State of Alaska doesn't erase those conflict of interest questions. It merely shifts them to her father, Governor Frank Murkowski.

"Given the overwhelming opposition to the idea of wasting federal tax dollars on these projects, state officials would be wise to spend the money prudently. If this ends up being a back door way to pay for the Gravina and Knik Arm bridges, it will amount to a complete betrayal of American taxpayers, not to mention American values."

Now lets see if Ted lives up to his word from before?

UPDATE (4:56 p.m.): Ted Stevens threatens to resign from "this body" if the "discriminatory" amendment passes.

Ted Stevens on CSPAN:

"This is not the way to treat a state. We are a sovereign state."

"The amendment before us now will affect only Alaska...this is something that I think is--every Senator must examine his own conscience."

"This is not the way to meet a disaster need."

"We have the smallest allocation per area of any state in the union."

"We must build bridges so we can bring together areas that are inaccessible otherwise." (uh, he's yelling now...)

"I have never seen this suggested, to single out a state and say, 'You pay! You pay for a disaster 5,000 miles away. You shoulder the burden!'"

"We need bridges so we can get from one private area to anoth private area."

"It's not taxpayer money. It's highway-user money."

"We came here to have the same rights, same priveleges counted to the people in every other state."

"It's wrong to put us into a position where we have to explain why--why!-- this is being done, something that has never been done before-- NEVER!"

"This amendment will not pass. If it does, the bill will not pass. If it does, I'll be taken out of here on a stretcher."

And for those of you that think Alaska is being Mistreated..


I've got some equal treatment for ya, Alaska-- How 'bout keeping your pork-per-capita number a teensy bit closer to the national average of $33, with the rest of us, instead of throwing off the curve with $985 per person?

Sorry, Ted and Lisa, but you singled yourselves out when you decided your state was worthy of more pork spending than any other state in the Union-- 50% more than the closest runner-up (D.C. with $464). I'm all for Alaska being equal to all the other states in the Union.

For instance, Alaska could start by being equal to my home state of North Carolina, which got $16 per capita in 2005. I bet equal doesn't sound so great when you look at it that way.

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Does this include the bridge that was to be called the "Don Young Highway", after the chairman of the Transportation committee?

As for paying for the hurricane, State Farm almost doubled it's rates this weekend for car insurance. When you get a new quote or need to renew you will get some serious sticker shock. It's to cover their losses in the hurricanes. I imagine that most other insurance companies will follow suit. I'm not shedding a tear for bridges to nowhere.

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I'm all for stringing up the TREASONOUS ****roach from a tree on the Capital grounds. To justify that bridge while others in the nation suffer, then cry foul and say they're being singled out and spew the "oh... pittiful Alaska people". Bullsh*t!!!!! Sacrifice like the rest of us.... do the honorable thing.... forgoe the bridge to no where so we can help pay for the bridges obliterated by the hurricanes.

Did we not come to the rescue of Alaskans in Anchorage during the great quake? The Tsunamis that hit that coastline?

Stevens should be thrown out of office with the rest of the politically motivated, eff the commoners, special interest placating MORONS in Washington.

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I believe that I read some where that Alaska has a large some on cash in oil reserve money. The Gov just bought a new jet and people were complaining about it because it can travel to only about half the airports around the state. They brought up the 30 billion when they discussed the cost.

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"They get rid of the symbol but still keep the pork," said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? how can you stop the project but keep the money?

The report they put out better be right....

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What? You mean the GOP, after doing something the voters don't like to help themselves get re-elected, and after getting caught, and after suffering in the polls, came up with an empty meaningless gesture that still shafts the taxpayers just as much, but that might fool a few people who aren't paying attention, and then trumpeted it with loud hails of victory (and completely artificial cries of anguish)?

I'm shocked.

Note to GOP voters: The GOP thinks this will fool you.

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Pretty bogus deal though. While the earmarks are removed, apparently the money is still going to Alaska so it might even still go to the same bridges:


Politicians just follow up deceit and mismanagement with more deceit. If you foul up and get caught just start a drumbeat villifying the people who caught you redhanded. Increase the drumbeat until you drown them out. New Age Politics 101. The mediots just follow along so use them like the patsies they are.

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