Will the pork stop here?: Reid pledges change, but he pushed funding that may benefit him. (Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, November 13, 2006, LA Times)

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vows to make reform of congressional earmarks a priority of his tenure, arguing that members need to be more transparent when they load pet projects for their districts into federal spending bills.

But last year’s huge $286-billion federal transportation bill included a little-noticed slice of pork pushed by Reid that provided benefits not only for the casino town of Laughlin, Nev., but also, possibly, for the senator himself.

Reid called funding for construction of a bridge over the Colorado River, among other projects, “incredibly good news for Nevada” in a news release after passage of the 2005 transportation bill. He didn’t mention, though, that just across the river in Arizona, he owns 160 acres of land several miles from proposed bridge sites and that the bridge could add value to his real estate investment.

Reid denies any personal financial interest in his efforts to secure $18 million for a new span connecting Laughlin with Bullhead City, Ariz.

If Democrats had actually learned anything from 1994 it would be that corruption is just another name for perks.



  1. Bruno says:

    Perks is just another word for corruption as well.

    Just as there is a limit to this nation’s ability to assimilate people, there is a limit to just how much corruption a culture can
    endure before it starts to rot.

  2. Orrin says:

    Yes, and it’s such a small fraction of our rather small federal budget that we’re nowhere near that point. This is the least corrupt our government has ever been.

  3. jim hamlen says:

    While your numerical point is correct, I’ll bet the government from 1924-1929 was cleaner,
    likewise with 1953-1963. Heck, it was probably clean under Wilson, too (until he stroked).

    Reid will be lucky if he is still Majority Leader on election day 2008. He’s too easy a
    target right now, and he has a tin ear on this subject. The media won’t cover for him if
    he just keeps opening his pockets.

  4. Orrin says:

    Ike’s VP and Chief of Staff were both crooks, nevermind Congress.

  5. Raoul Ortega says:

    Sure they’ll cover for him, the same way the self-proclaimed “Porkbusters” are now going to go into hibernation after a few rounds of self-congradulations for installing those frugal Dems into power. And can you blame Harry? He’s got over a decade’s worth of “constituent service” to catch up on before the next election.

    But it will be interesting to see if the lessons of ’95, a decade later, will have any effect on the Dems. Considering that most of the leadership (Kennedy, Leahy, Levin, Schumer, Murtha, Pelosi, Conyers, Frank, etc.) were around then, I suspect it won’t. Or at best, they’ll remember all the wrong ones.

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