An incredibly arrogant, venal and stupid move from an incredibly arrogant, venal, and stupid Member of Congress:
A plan by House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) to ban “monuments to me” in this year’s appropriations bills has been sharply criticized behind closed doors by a senior Democrat who wants to direct $1 million to an employment center in her district bearing her name.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) confronted Obey in the Democratic whip meeting Thursday, complaining about his refusal to fund her earmark request for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center in the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill, according to another Democratic Member and aides.
How big is the problem of Members creating monuments to themselves?
…Republicans have made the issue the cornerstone of their call for additional earmark reforms, targeting funding for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York and the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., among others. The Murtha airport in particular has received significant attention in recent months because of the millions Murtha has steered to it and the dearth of passengers it handles…
Several other House Members have their names etched into projects back home. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has a golf center and a pedestrian overpass named for him. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) has a parkway bearing her name in Atlanta. And Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) had pushed for the construction of a $231 million bridge to be called Don Young’s Way.
But the practice appears more popular in the Senate.
Then-Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) earmarked money for improvements to the airport named for him in Anchorage, and then-Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) did the same for his own eponymous airport near Pascagoula. For Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), there’s Pat Roberts Hall at Kansas State University. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a park in Bowling Green and a conservation fund.
But longtime appropriator and former Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) may be the most memorialized of all. The anti-earmarking group Citizens Against Government Waste has devoted a section of its Web site to chronicling more than 30 home-state projects named for him, including the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam, the Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center, the Robert C. Byrd Clinic at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Robert C. Byrd High School, the Robert C. Byrd Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, and several roads and highways.
Perhaps we ought to forgive Ms. Waters for wanting to get her tribute; everyone else seems to have one.