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May 13, 2009
Incredible. FAA approves stimulus funds for Murtha's ghost airport
If any more evidence were needed that our government is run by a bunch of shameless, arrogant, lickspittles, the fact that the FAA has approved the plan to give money to an airport named after Pork King Rep. John Murtha should remove all doubts.
We blogged about this albatross a few weeks ago. It costs the taxpayer about $147 for every passenger who uses the facility. Since there are less than two dozen flights that take off every day, one wonders where Murtha found the chutzpah to secure more than $150 million in earmarks for the facility over the last decade.
Now, this little used airport will be the recipient of federal stimulus money according to a story by Carol Leonnig in the Washington Post:
The Federal Aviation Administration, after reviewing concerns about a project at a regional airport named after Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), has decided to go forward with plans to use $800,000 in stimulus funds to repave the airport's alternate runway.
Late this afternoon, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation confirmed that the department had completed its review and would be releasing the funds for the Johnstown, Pa., airport project.
DOT spokesperson Jill Zuckman said the review was undertaken after a "senior policy" official at DOT decided he wanted to reconsider the project, but she declined to identify who that was or detail the reason for the reconsideration. She said the runway's concrete hasn't been replaced in many years and is in need of repaving.
"The bottom line is it deserved the money based on the merits," Zuckman said. "It's not an earmark."
Says you. Even if it technically isn't an "earmark," it's still pure pork. And the idea that even after reviewing the matter the FAA decided to go ahead and spend the money is pure politics. Murtha sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee where the FAA budget is decided. It appears the agency decided to placate a powerful Congressman rather than spend the taxpayer's money wisely.