Rep. Charlie Rangel is attempting to build a “presidential library, without the president” at City College of New York. Rangel’s monument to himself consists of three separate and expensive items, the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service, the Rangel Conference Center, and the Charles Rangel Library. It’s the library that even attracted the attention of CBS News.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is proposing an amendment that would kill the federal funding for Rangel’s neo-pyramid.
Elsewhere, the Democrats are set to pass an earmark that’ll help build a monument to the hippie generation. As if they needed one more reason to celebrate themselves and their own self-righteousness.
Will the Democratic-controlled Senate approve a $1 million earmark to celebrate Woodstock-era baby boomers, carved out of a bill funding health care and education? It will, because it is sponsored by New York’s influential Democratic senators, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer. It will, because they are promoting the pet project of a big-time Democratic campaign contributor…
Even by congressional standards of shamelessness, the Bethel earmark is extraordinary. “What Cooperstown is to baseball,” says the museum’s Web site, quoting from a New York Times story, “Bethel could be to the baby boom.” Earlier this year, Bethel advertised a “Hippiefest” as a “return to the flower-powered days of the 1960s.”
Bethel typifies the earmark epidemic because political insiders are often found pushing pork. The museum is funded principally by billionaire Alan Gerry’s foundation, which has annual investment income of $24 million. Federal Election Commission records show that Gerry has donated at least $229,000 to political campaigns, and his wife, Sandra, has contributed $90,000 over the past 10 years (including $26,000 in the last election cycle to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, headed by Schumer). On June 30, the Gerrys gave the maximum $9,200 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, three days after the two New York senators put the Bethel earmark into the Labor-HHS bill.
Sen. Tom Coburn is fighting against the hippiefest earmark and whole slew of other similarly unneeded projects, but it’s going to be an uphill fight since even many Republicans have become addicted to sweet, sweet taste of pork.