08.11.2011 0

James Clyburn: Pay-to-Play Politics

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) to be a delegate to the joint deficit reduction committee today.  Coinciding with this announcement, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) released a report entitled “Pay-To-Play Politics” which anoints Clyburn as the “King of Schemes.”

“James Clyburn’s propensity for pay-to-play politics disqualifies him from serving on any committee tasked with reducing spending. This is like appointing Ben & Jerry’s to a committee on nutrition. James Clyburn has spent his entire career giving away earmarks in exchange for campaign contributions. Clyburn is pay-to-play’s king of schemes, and has earmarked over $200 million in just the past six years, making him the biggest congressional spender in South Carolina,” said ALG President Bill Wilson.

“That includes a $3 million earmark to teach children to play golf after the center had renamed itself to the ‘James E. Clyburn Golf Center,’ and built a statue in his honor,” Wilson said.

“Clyburn’s role on the super-committee would be to protect what he spent decades fighting for: pork-barrel spending,” Wilson added.

Other earmarks included $54.4 million for South Carolina universities in return for tens of thousands of campaign contributions and even a transportation center named after Clyburn, $2.1 million for the city of Charleston that his cousin lobbied for who gave Clyburn $3,250 in campaign money, and $1.3 million to Palmetto Health in return for $9,500 in contributions.

That included $40 million to the South Carolina State University for the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center, where the congressman intends to house his official papers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation cut off funding, and a federal audit was unable to determine how tax dollars had been spent.  Like federal auditors, a local paper had difficulty making sense of SCSU’s finances. Records were disorganized and difficult to track down.

Clyburn’s transportation center was also investigated by the state Legislative Audit Council. Thirteen years after receiving the initial money, the center has still not been completed.

Wilson concluded, “Politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouths on ‘pay-to-play’ have no place on any committee that is supposed to be reducing the debt.  James Clyburn has been nothing but a hypocrite on this issue for his entire career.”

Rep. James Clyburn: Pay to Play

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