Hatch proposing UTOPIA bailout

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Local blogger “Nacilbupera” uncovered a proposed bailout by Senator Hatch for two small towns embroiled in the UTOPIA mess. Tremonton (pop 7000) and Perry (population 3000) stand to gain over a million dollars between the two of them. Tremonton is slated to receive $272,000 and tiny little Perry, a whopping $750,000.

The earmark is part of a GRANT which has not yet been voted on. From Nacil’s blog:

The specifics of the earmark are found on page 76 of Senate report 111-221 (pdf version), under the section “DISTANCE LEARNING, TELEMEDICINE, AND BROADBAND PROGRAM LOANS AND GRANTS” where the “Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies” [Wow. Maybe we could acronym it the A.S.A.R.D.F.D.A.R.A.!!!] lead by Sen Kohl (D-WI) recommended its expenditure alongside a bunch of other pork from other states, many having Senate representation on the subcommittee.

Unfortunately this $1M bailout is only one bite of the porkulous hog Hatch has proposed for FY 2011. The website WashingtonWatch.com lists 13 pages of earmarks numbering in the hundreds Hatch has proposed. The website is interactive and one can sound off by voting for or against individual earmarks and leaving comments.

Senator Hatch’s office released a statement that confirms his new-found opposition to earmarks, saying in part “I have always said I have an obligation as your Senator to make sure our state, our communities and our people get back the hard-earned tax dollars we contribute to the federal treasury. That’s only fair and right, and is something I will not stop fighting for. Ultimately, Utah taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for other states.” Apparently, however, it’s OK for other states to pay for Utah’s pork…. According to Washington Watch, the earmark requests remain in effect.

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9 Responses to “Hatch proposing UTOPIA bailout”

  1. Cherilyn Eagar Says:

    I have a three-ring binder on our Senators’ earmark records. They are only 1% point apart from each other. Senator Bennett votes for pork 91% of the time. Hatch 90%. Of course, these percentages go way down every six years when election time rolls around.

  2. nacilbupera Says:

    Holly: Thank you for helping get the word out! I think it has really come down to the citizen watchdogs to hold our officials responsible for their votes. Although the media does cover major events, they use a filter in deciding what’s important and frequently miss critical information needed for voters to make informed decisions.

  3. Jackie Says:

    UTOPIA has not been successful because the wrong people have been in charge.

  4. rmwarnick Says:

    Since 2005, the ranking of broadband penetration in the USA has fallen from number 1 to number 22 in the world. Moreover, 68 percent of the connections being marketed as “broadband” by the private sector in the USA do not meet the definition of broadband.

    I like the idea of the federal government doing something about our nation’s dilapidated infrastructure. Broadband is a very important part of that. My only regret is that Draper will probably be the last city in Utah to get fiber optic from UTOPIA, thanks to Howard Stephenson being indirectly on the payroll of Qwest and Comcast.

  5. rmwarnick Says:

    Holly–

    Why not do a post on the McConnell-Obama tax cuts for the rich? I’d like to know what you think. The deal was announced last week.

    1) McConnell-Obama was negotiated behind closed doors
    2) It will add $850 billion to federal deficits over two years
    3) The Tea Party Patriots oppose the deal
    4) Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Senator Jim DeMint and Charles Krauthammer have criticized it
    5) Ten Democratic and five Republican senators voted against it today
    6) Polls indicate two-thirds of Americans don’t like it

  6. Ira Thurby-Wright Says:

    Meh, if the money’s going to be spent, spend it in Utah and Utopia is a worthwhile infrastructure project. If the money’s going to be taxed, let’s get it back through worthwhile infrastructure spending.

    I have a better idea, let’s take the nation back to funding the federal government through import tariffs and then shrink it (the government) so that it can actually get by on said limited taxation, and then we don’t need to earmark or pork barrel to get the money back.

    In summary, I don’t like the practice in which Hatch is engaged, but that’s the system we’ve been given, or more aptly, which we’ve allowed to be created. Of course if America had some real cajones, we’d vote out EVERY SINGLE encumbant in the next election and with that single move, we’d seriously interrupt the process (particularly the lobbyists who’d lose their nurtured congressional cohorts) and maybe give us a chance to re-assemble Washington without a bloody revolution.

  7. Fred Says:

    Congress spends our money. Do they do it by voting on a specific issue and deciding if it needs federal dollars, or to the take money that has been budgeted to a department away from that department and give it to their friends?

    It is time earmarks were no longer the return on investment for big money, incumbents re-election campaigns, or lobbyists.

    A city shouldn’t have to pay some lobbyist to donate to a campaign fund of someone back in DC to get the help they need from the federal government.

  8. Fred Says:

    That said, not all earmarks are bad. Do they have a federal nexus? Are they voted on, or air dropped without a vote? Are they being used to by-pass any bidding, etc. to provide money to a private company?

  9. Fred Says:

    Hatch pulled the Eamark.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50865917-76/earmarks-budget-congress-bennett.html.csp

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