Friday, January 30, 2009
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named newly-minted Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Porker of the Month. As a member of Congress from Illinois between 1995 and 2008, then-Rep. LaHood made the most of his seat on the House Appropriations Committee, over time becoming adept at spending more and more of the taxpayers’ money. His congressional rating with the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) went from a mediocre 68.8 percent during his freshman year to an abysmal 11 percent in his last year in Congress. In fiscal year 2008 alone, Rep. LaHood was responsible for securing 52 earmarks totaling $58.9 million. According to the Washington Post, $9 million worth of his earmarks last year benefited campaign contributors, and Rep. LaHood ranked in the top 10 percent of all members who obtained earmarks. In his new position, Secretary LaHood will preside over the distribution of tens of billions of tax dollars for transportation projects in the economic stimulus package now moving forward in Congress. In addition, Secretary LaHood will be involved in the 2010 transportation reauthorization bill. Such transportation bills have increasingly become vehicles for billions of dollars in congressional pork, including Alaska’s notorious “Bridge to Nowhere.” For his long-standing disregard for the taxpayers’ money and an abundance of concern over how he will administer the Department of Transportation, CAGW names Ray LaHood January Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month.