10.01.2008 0

Federal Land Grab Promoted at Taxpayer Expense

  • On: 10/07/2008 16:36:28
  • In: Congressional Earmarks
  • Should Congress be allowed via earmark to fund a lobbying organization which is promoting passage of another bill?

    The National Center for Public Policy Research doesn’t think so, and they have noted an extremely egregious example, where included in the 2005 transportation bill was a $1 million earmark slipped in by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Foundation.

    That lobbying organization then turned around and lobbied, undoubtedly using that funding, for passage of the “Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008” to create the aptly titled, “Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area”, which runs from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Charlottesville, Virginia.

    The bill’s chief sponsor in the House was Rep. Wolf.

    That’s a “creative” way to get a bill enacted: Finance the lobbying organization to promote your bill with tax dollars, which will then go door-to-door in the Capitol to secure passage. It appears very likely that the earmark by Mr. Wolf was apparently pre-meditated precisely to get this bill enacted, according to National Center:

    “Approval of the JTHG Heritage Area is a case study in what is wrong with American politics.

    “The JTHG Heritage Area wasn’t approved by Congress due to overwhelming public demand for it. Borrowing from the Beatles, perhaps it got by with a little help from Wolf’s friends — a lot of Ben Franklins, Alexander Hamiltons, Abe Lincolns and George Washingtons.

    “You see, Congressman Wolf slipped a $1 million dollar earmark in the 2005 federal transportation bill — buried among 6,372 other earmarks — for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Foundation. This is the very group that has led the lobbying effort for Wolf’s bill. More unusual still is that at the time of the earmark, the foundation had yet to even be incorporated and was operating out of the personal post office box of its executive director, Cate Magennis Wyatt.

    “It appears as though Congressman Wolf used taxpayer money to fund the lobbying campaign for his own bill.”

    More outrageous is the fact that this seemingly corrupt practice is perfectly legal.

    The people of Virginia deserve better representation, and the American people deserve their money back.

    ALG CTA: We encourage journalists across the nation to urge their audiences to give Rep. Wolf a call at (202) 225-5136 to express their outrage over his using their tax dollars to fund a lobbying organization to help pass his pet bill.

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