Other Kinds of Pork

Yesterday's Star-Gazette's endorsement mentions Randy Kuhl's track record bringing home "pork":

Critics call it pork but, in fact, much of the funding that comes to the 29th are dollars that House members help facilitate but don't necessarily get through legislation.

That's just not true. According to the Census Bureau, New York State received $157 billion from the Federal Government last year. That's over $5 billion per congressional district. Randy Kuhl's $20 million worth of earmarks is not even a drop in that bucket.

In addition, Kuhl's votes on individual federal programs are far more important than his few earmarks. For example, if Kuhl and a few others had voted for S-CHIP last year, that one program alone would have brought $80 million to the district over 5 years.

Members of Congress make a lot of noise about earmarks, but by no means does "much" of the money in the district come from them. That's why earmarks should be abolished. They don't do a lot for a district, but they open the door to corruption and influence peddling.


While I agree with you, perhaps you should take a stand against all incumbents. Chuck and Hillary have been announcing goodies for 9 and 7 years respectively and have been going to fix the upstate economy for that long too.

So I guess the fact that people bring home pork and lie to you is pretty much an accepted fact in the political world, and shouldn't be held against an incumbent.

I don't hold it against him - just don't think that it's a reason to vote for him, and also wanted to point out that the noise made about earmarks is far out of proportion to their size, and we should keep that in mind.

I'll tell you my take on pork (which is pretty much the same as Rotten's at root): the fact it doesn't amount to much money relative to the entire budget means that (1) cutting it won't do much for the deficit and (2) as is, it doesn't do much for districts.

So I think the media should just ignore it, except in those cases where there's egregious corruption, e.g. the Bridge to Nowhere (locally, I can't see any truly egregious examples). Pork helps incumbent and any discussion of pork helps incumbents.

I don't care that Randy (or Louise) brings pork in, one way or the other. It's not a good reason to vote for them and it's not a good reason to vote against them.

The fact that the two Gannett papers endorsed Randy in part because of his supposed pork prowess is just stupid.