Another example of waste and abuse

posted at 2:56 pm on September 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

What does $10 million in Congressional pork buy?  Lots of bureaucrats and a pat on the back from constituents, instead of a kick somewhere farther south.  The Raleigh News-Observer reports that an earmark pushed by Rep. David Price (D-NC) intended, supposedly, to increase services to North Carolinian National Guard families has spent $7.3 million over the last five years and helped next to no one — except bureaucrats and Price’s hometown university:

In 2004, U.S. Rep. David Price inserted a $10 million program into the federal budget, sending the money to UNC-Chapel Hill for a new effort to help deployed soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserves.

Five years later, the Citizen Soldier Support Program has spent $7.3 million, but the money has accomplished little for the people it was supposed to help. One-quarter of the money has gone to the university for overhead, and a large part of the rest has been spent on well-paid consultants, six-figure salaries and travel.

Half of the eight full-time employees are paid more than $100,000 a year, including a deputy director who has been reimbursed $76,000 for food, travel and lodging when she commutes from her home in northern Virginia to North Carolina.

An internal review found that the program produced reams of paperwork but few concrete results.

It takes the N-O eleven paragraphs to identify Price as a Democrat, a solid entry for a Name That Party contest.

What does this most resemble?  Porkulus.  The Obama administration’s stimulus package has created few jobs except those of high-paid bureaucrats, and have saved none except for state paper-pushers whose jobs got rescued from overdue re-evaluations.  In this case, though, we only lost $10 million, instead of the $787 billion allocated by Price’s Democratic colleagues to a wide variety of pork projects, most of which will produce similar results as the CSSP — zero.

Update: Raleigh, not Charlotte, which I knew; my apologies.


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You know what the real problem was? It didn’t spend enough money.

- Proud Rino

lorien1973 on September 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

1st comment, wow cool!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Dammit!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

there are no democrats

just corrupt republicans

blatantblue on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Will teach ya to start that “first” crap, won’t it?

lorien1973 on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Price was one of my profs at Duke. And, yes, his partisanship showed in the classroom. I think he found me annoying.

Got a good grade from him though.

WannabeAnglican on September 28, 2009 at 3:01 PM

$10 million?

Chump change/

Knucklehead on September 28, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Will teach ya to start that “first” crap, won’t it?

lorien1973 on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

One of these days Alice, Pow! Right in the kisser!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM

If I remember correctly, he hid from us during recess.

Diane on September 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Ed – the News & Observer is the Raleigh, NC newspaper. The Charlotte paper is the Charlotte Observer.

Diogenes Online on September 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM

so since nothing is getting done, what do these 8 full time employees do?

PatriotRider on September 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM

If I remember correctly, he hid from us during recess.

Diane on September 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM

maybe he just didnt like YOU

:p

blatantblue on September 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM

And his constituents will return him to office again. Watch.

johnsteele on September 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM

North Carolina, not unlike Iran, is tiny

juanito on September 28, 2009 at 3:05 PM

1st comment, wow cool!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Wrong blog for ‘first’ comments. Try YouTube.

BadgerHawk on September 28, 2009 at 3:06 PM

My state of dis-repair…there are so many dems in leadership, that nothing will be done.

right2bright on September 28, 2009 at 3:06 PM

And if you pass the health care bill we will eliminate the waste. Then and only then.

rjoco1 on September 28, 2009 at 3:07 PM

so since nothing is getting done, what do these 8 full time employees do?

PatriotRider on September 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Nothing, which show how effective they were…they were hired to do nothing, and they accomplished that, should be given a bonus for finishing ahead of schedule.

right2bright on September 28, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Boy, I can’t wait to see a follow up on dateline, or 20-20, or 60 mins, or.
oh wait, dem. Sorry

JusDreamin on September 28, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Price was one of my profs at Duke.

WannabeAnglican on September 28, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Sorry you couldn’t get into Virginia. :)

BacaDog on September 28, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Thieves and crooks. UNC-Chapel Hill should be sued to recover that money out of the Trustee’s personal assets.

Dusty on September 28, 2009 at 3:09 PM

including a deputy director who has been reimbursed $76,000 for food, travel and lodging when she commutes from her home in northern Virginia to North Carolina.

Only a sham program would have something like this on the books.

I’ve driven to Chapel Hill from Arlington Virginia. It’s a 4.5 hour drive.

Flying probably saved her what, an hour? Once you slog over to the airport, go through security, etc.?

What’s the problem with this woman telecommuting? The University of NC has ample housing, why didn’t they put her up in a house?

This kind of wasteful spending is just criminal. They force us to pay outrageous amounts in taxes and then waste it on crap like this.

NoDonkey on September 28, 2009 at 3:11 PM

1st comment, wow cool!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

No… but thanks for playing.

Doorgunner on September 28, 2009 at 3:12 PM

The Chancellor tells the program to “straighten up” and people running the program say they are almost there, ridiculous. I don’t see what happens when they spend the just under 3 million remaining dollars, does the program end or get more money. And why would you hire and pay someone extra to travel from Virginia to a job in N.C. Yes, please put these people in charge of my health care.

Cindy Munford on September 28, 2009 at 3:12 PM

1st comment, wow cool!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Last comment, really cool… and awesome, too. -_*

TXUS on September 28, 2009 at 3:12 PM

a deputy director who has been reimbursed $76,000 for food, travel and lodging when she commutes from her home in northern Virginia to North Carolina.

You mean to tell me there wasn’t a single person in the entire Triangle area qualified to direct this program?

BacaDog on September 28, 2009 at 3:13 PM

As heard on Neal Boortz on 09/28/2009.

Radicals Wrote Failed Stimulus
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Labor Department reported Friday that 42 states lost more jobs than they gained in August, and that 14 plus Washington, D.C., reported unemployment rates of 10% or more.

Michigan’s rate rose to 15.2%, highest in the nation. Nevada, represented by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is second with 13.2%. California, home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is tied for fourth with Oregon at 12.2%.

Clearly, the stimulus bill that no congressman read is not working. As it turns out, no congressman may have written it either. It’s largely the creation of a coalition of leftist organizations called the Apollo Alliance, whose primary interests are saving the Earth, environmental justice and redistributing wealth. They are not friends of job-creating capitalism.

On Apollo’s Web site, Sen. Reid, whose state also leads in foreclosures, is quoted praising the group of which former green czar Van Jones was a board member.

“We’ve talked about moving forward on these ideas for decades,” Reid is quoted as saying. “The Apollo Alliance has been an important factor in helping us develop and execute a strategy that makes great progress on these goals and in motivating the public to support them.”

Jones, the former Oakland, Calif., community organizer and self-avowed communist, was on the board of the Apollo Alliance when he accepted the position in the Obama administration as green jobs czar.

As Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity told Glenn Beck, Jones has “described the Apollo Alliance mission as sort of a grand unified field theory for progressive left causes” that would tie elements of organized labor with community organizers and environmental groups into an outfit that would restructure American society.

Wade Rathke, founder of Acorn, was also on the Apollo board, as is Gerald Hudson, vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which provides the shock troops in the movement to pass government-run health care.

John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton and now president of the leftist Center for American Progress, also sits on the Apollo board. Each day his group sends out talking points to the left side of the blogosphere. Mark Lloyd, diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission, was a senior fellow at CAP.

According to Kerpen, the Apollo Alliance put together a draft stimulus bill in 2008 that included almost everything in the final $787 billion package. Little did the voters know that the congressmen and senators they would elect would pass a bill written by activist outsiders.

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of all this is that an even more radical Jones (no relation) has a relationship with the Apollo Alliance. Jeff Jones was a domestic terrorist in the ’60s and a fugitive from justice throughout the ’70s who, with Bill Ayers, helped found the Weather Underground in 1969.

Ayers, Jones and the Weathermen participated in the violent Days of Rage riots in Chicago and a nationwide anti-government bombing campaign. Like Ayers, Jeff Jones has no regrets, saying: “To this day, we still, lots of us, including me, still think it was the right thing to do.”

Today, Jones finds himself director of the Apollo Alliance’s New York affiliate and a consultant to the national group. One of his clients is the Workforce Development Institute, a union-controlled organization.

As a consultant to WDI, Jones helps write the grant proposals for federal stimulus dollars — funds authorized in the bill that Apollo helped write — all to ensure that taxpayer dollars end up in the hands of groups that share Apollo’s political agenda.

Welcome to government of the activist, by the activist and for the activist.

bridgetown on September 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

WHERE IS THE ACCOUTABILITY DAMMIT

rjoco1 on September 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Wish I could say I was shocked. Now, it’s more like what I expect from our scumbag politicians.

Star20 on September 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM

More stories like this to come, no doubt.

AnninCA on September 28, 2009 at 3:22 PM

He said we all must lend a hand.

LibTired on September 28, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Diane on September 28, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Yes, he did. I think he had a maybe two spur of the moment “call in” meetings open to the public. I believe only 10 calls were answered. I heard a LOT of complaints that people could not get thru.

walnut on September 28, 2009 at 3:23 PM

First, we kill the politicians.

jukin on September 28, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Kelo.

FeFe on September 28, 2009 at 3:28 PM

He said we all must lend a hand.

LibTired on September 28, 2009 at 3:22 PM

… All the while making us “lend” our hats, bats, and ass as well.

TXUS on September 28, 2009 at 3:28 PM

1st comment, wow cool!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Nth comment.
Wow, irrelevant.
Content should probably count for more than timing, I’m thinking.

Tom_OC on September 28, 2009 at 3:29 PM

jukin on September 28, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Carefull.

TXUS on September 28, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Chump change

Knucklehead on September 28, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Chump change is when Obama is voted out of office.

WashJeff on September 28, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I’d suggest the government build a website to track accountability of the stimulus spending but it’d cost us a fortune.

shick on September 28, 2009 at 3:32 PM

More stories like this to come, no doubt.

AnninCA on September 28, 2009 at 3:22 PM

How did you vote last election? Progressive? You may have a level of responsibility as an enabler.

shick on September 28, 2009 at 3:34 PM

bridgetown on September 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

If you *must*, please just post a link to it, not the entire freaking thing. Thx.

Midas on September 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM

the database of mental health providers; one-day training for 2,000 mental health providers on military culture and the after-effects of war-related injuries; and consulting with the Army Reserve’s Yellow Ribbon program.

These are the “accomplishments” for a $7.3 million, five-year program?

I could put together a similar Access database in let’s see, two weeks, tops?

Training for 2,000 mental health providers on military culture? You can’t be serious.

I could do that, online, via E-mail in 24 hours.

consulting with the Army Reserve’s Yellow Ribbon program

What is this?

I could do all of this in 30 days, for $50K.

“The check isn’t just sent out and forgotten about,” Price said. “If these funds haven’t been utilized in the most effective way, we need to correct it.”

He says 5 years and $7.3 million later.

I betcha he got a lot of mileage out of blowing his own horn about this great program he had started and meanwhile, never for a moment did anything to make sure the funds were properly spent.

NoDonkey on September 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM

How did you vote last election? Progressive? You may have a level of responsibility as an enabler.

shick on September 28, 2009 at 3:34 PM

After much hand-wringing, soul-searching, I voted McCain. First time in my adult life to vote for any Republican.

That’s a true story.

Course, I’m from CA. It’s not like it mattered. But STILL. :)

AnninCA on September 28, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Price is my congresscritter. My district is so heavily Gerrymandered with the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill, Durham and SE Raleigh that the Republicans don’t stand a chance. We booted him out once when the Republicans took over the House and Senate at Clinton’s first mid-term elections but lost it the next cycle. The N&O played heavily into muckraking on Fred Hineman the one term Republican that ousted their fair-haired David Price. The Republicans rarely if ever support the challenger to Price because the district is overwhelmingly Democratic. If Cary had it’s own district we’d most likely send a Republican. As it is we’re part of 3 districts all represented by Democrats.

The N&O is “Old Reliable” for the Democrats. They typically will endorse one token Republican every election cycle, normally for Recorder of Deeds or some Soil and Water Conservation District rep or some such non-sense. This last cycle they actually endorsed Pat McCory for Governor over the Democrat Bev Perdue. Perdue won.

Price is a useless hack. He comes to our office for “Town Hall Meetings” I’ve walked out on several of them because he just spouts liberal talking points and blames Boooosh. 20+ years in the House and find one concrete accomplishment beyond pork that has his name attached to it.

Sparky on September 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Hey, Ed, just pointing out that our newspaper, the John Locke Foundation’s Carolina Journal, ran that story three weeks before it ran in our state newspaper of record. Oh, and we told readers Price was a Dem in the second paragraph.

rivlax on September 28, 2009 at 3:41 PM

76K for food? Holy crap!!

Hening on September 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM

76K for food? Holy crap!!

Hening on September 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Food, lodging and air fare.

Which is ridiculous.

UNC, like any other well-funded university, has university housing and much of it quite plush.

Put her up there.

Or hire someone local.

Not to mention, Chapel Hill is a 4.5 hour drive from Northern Virginia. How much time are you really saving by flying? And then she needs a rental car?

But who cares really, it’s just taxpayer dollars. Only the best, for our underperforming, overpaid public servants.

Who gives a damn about the soldiers this money was supposed to help? They signed up for what they got into, didn’t they?

NoDonkey on September 28, 2009 at 3:48 PM

PatriotRider on September 28, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Get paid.

chemman on September 28, 2009 at 3:53 PM

bridgetown on September 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

If you *must*, please just post a link to it, not the entire freaking thing. Thx.

Midas on September 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Ditto.

TXUS on September 28, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Hooray! My jacka$$ local politician makes HotAir.

Shame Thy name is David Price.

tickleddragon on September 28, 2009 at 3:58 PM

$10 million vs.$787 billion is the difference between Republican and Democrat control of congress.

jerseyman on September 28, 2009 at 4:05 PM

After much hand-wringing, soul-searching, I voted McCain. First time in my adult life to vote for any Republican.
That’s a true story.
Course, I’m from CA. It’s not like it mattered. But STILL. :)
AnninCA on September 28, 2009 at 3:39 PM

If that’s true, thanks for at least trying I guess..

Chainsaw56 on September 28, 2009 at 4:05 PM

bridgetown on September 28, 2009 at 3:15 PM

If you *must*, please just post a link to it, not the entire freaking thing. Thx.

Midas on September 28, 2009 at 3:38 PM
Ditto.

TXUS on September 28, 2009 at 3:53 PM

I do apologize.
I will try to next time. I’m not very good at doing that.
Excuuuuuuuuuuse Me!!

bridgetown on September 28, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Thieves and crooks. UNC-Chapel Hill should be sued to recover that money out of the Trustee’s personal assets.

Dusty on September 28, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Thieves and crooks = UNC-Chapel Hill

mankai on September 28, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Price is my Rep., propped up by the liberal hordes of Chapel Hill. He lost in 1994, he will lose again.

Valiant on September 28, 2009 at 4:18 PM

One of these days Alice, Pow! Right in the kisser!

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM

One of these days Alice, Pow! Right in the kisser! “To the moon Alice!”.

FIFY

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM

belad on September 28, 2009 at 4:20 PM

One-quarter of the money has gone to the university for overhead, and a large part of the rest has been spent on well-paid consultants, six-figure salaries and travel.

Just imagine what they can do with $1 TRILLION! in health care dollars.

Barry’s probably kicking himself in the ass. What a piker. He only got Michelle’s hospital a paltry $1 million.

GarandFan on September 28, 2009 at 4:44 PM

This is absolutely despicable.

Buy Danish on September 28, 2009 at 4:51 PM

It takes the N-O eleven paragraphs to identify Price as a Democrat, a solid entry for a Name That Party contest.

I swear that by now, burying this kind of detail in the umpteenth paragraph has the perverse, opposite effect to that intended: it actually makes the Democrats look *worse* (if that’s even possible). It suggests a combination of non-newsworthiness and slight embarrassment, which is far more telling than anything else. Reading the entire article only to find at the very end that, yep, sure enough the stooge is a Democrat, only makes Democrats look guilty by definition.

In contrast, when “Republican” is mentioned on the very first line, it gives the impression that such a detail is indeed newsworthy — and thus rare.

Hmmm….

Archimedes on September 28, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Will teach ya to start that “first” crap, won’t it?

lorien1973 on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I’d hit that (Submit button).

RD on September 28, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Price isn’t too popular around here these days. Honestly, he really wasn’t before the election. I think he rode back into DC on the brilliance of the straight ticket D voter, as did our moronic governor, who is embarrassingly stupid.

Monica on September 28, 2009 at 5:09 PM

as did our moronic governor, who is embarrassingly stupid.

Monica on September 28, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Bears repeating, and repeating, and repeating…

right2bright on September 28, 2009 at 5:38 PM

the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill

Sparky on September 28, 2009 at 3:40 PM

I earned my graduate degree at Carolina. I was there during Jesse Helms’s last re-election in 1996. I’ll never forget one of my classmates addressing me with the following: “Hey, LV, you’re the only Republican I know. What is it with you guys and Helms?”

I had absolutely no reason to doubt the truthfulness of her statement, that at this top-flight “public Ivy” she would know of only one person who didn’t self-describe as a progressive. PRCH, indeed.

About ten years later my son graduated from UNC with a degree that I believe is unique to Chapel Hill: Peace, War, and Defense (yeah, he’s in the Army now). I think they started it as a jazzed-up “peace studies” kind of thing, only now it’s something of a magnet for the ROTC crowd. HA!

I don’t let the politics of the place get me down too much. What really ticked me off was The One practicing with the basketball Tar Heels last year – and then he had to go and pick them to go all the way. Talk about de-valuing the brand….

Lurking Vet on September 28, 2009 at 6:03 PM

as did our moronic governor, who is embarrassingly stupid.

Monica on September 28, 2009 at 5:09 PM
Bears repeating, and repeating, and repeating…

right2bright on September 28, 2009 at 5:38 PM

What they said….

Lurking Vet on September 28, 2009 at 6:04 PM

This guy is my ‘esteemed’ congressman and I pray for the day he gets voted out of office! Same goes for our newly elected governor, whose numbers are polling in the 30′s already. Our state politics are a hotbed of corruption–can’t wait for the former gov and his wife to do the perp walk!

ConservativeMom on September 28, 2009 at 9:23 PM

We like to call it the “Newsless Disturber and Fish Wrap”

rattrap47 on September 29, 2009 at 8:17 AM

WHERE IS THE ACCOUTABILITY DAMMIT

rjoco1 on September 28, 2009

It’s on the back burner with other things.

SKYFOX on September 29, 2009 at 8:35 AM

WannabeAnglican

Never took Price at Duke; but, 10 years ago while training and running crews for the Census (AKA Censusless) they severely under counted in certain areas of his district. His supporters were deeply involved at management levels of the count. I’m sure they were trying to keep any gerrymandering from happening that would weigh against them. It had a racial component as well with the African American vs. Hispanic community. The African Americans did not want to count Hispanics because it would give Hispanics more clout vis a vie them. As well, most Hispanics did not want to be counted because they were illegal and afraid of enumerator wearing an official looking govt. badge when they approached.

What happened in the end was an embarrassment of major proportions, when the director of “social” services” in Durham disclosed there 200-300% more Hispanics on services in Durham than had been counted in the Censsu.

That embarrassment, coupled with the fact NC would lose a seat to Utah if they did not come up with some more people, lead to a massive new “enumeration” effort to come up with the right (possibly even the real) numbers.

As I said Price’s folks had a stranglehold on who was in charge. I along with a few other folks from Duke were token Republicans during the count. And, if you have ever worked for the Census, it is abundantly clear that even the civil service workers are extremely biased towards the Democrats.

His office even pulled weight and forced us to take some crazy woman from ANSWER. She caused a disturbance in one of my classes when we were going over how to record Arabic names and started shouting at me and calling me a racist. Thankfully, the rest of the African American women in there put an end to her crap immediately. They were there for a job and not for a ginned up lawsuit.

trollkiller on September 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM