Days after a Senate committee approved $1 million for a Woodstock concert museum, the project’s Republican billionaire backer and his family contributed $29,200 to help the Democrats who requested the money, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer.
The New York senators put their names jointly on all their earmark requests, but Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said that this one came through Schumer’s office. Of the donations, he said, "One thing had nothing to do with the other."
Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon said the senator backed the project because it was "long sought after" by state and local leaders, not because of contributions.
Gerry, his wife and three children have given $507,800 since 1998, including $272,050 to Democrats and $212,750 to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Gerry’s wife, Sandra, is a registered Democrat.
Most of the Democratic recipients helped the Woodstock venture. Since 2005, the Gerrys have donated $150,000 to the Schumer-led Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $18,600 to Clinton.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., who earmarked $200,000 for the project in 2003, has received $19,500 since 1998. Hinchey spokesman Jeff Lieberson said the project would offer a "huge economic boost."
Exactly what business does the federal government have paying for monuments to a rock concert?
Worse yet, in addition to the $1 million Hill and Chuck obtained, the state of New York has spent $15 million on the project.
Evidently that New York’s political leaders have forgotten where that money came from, if they ever considered the notion at all. For some that’s simply the way the "game" is played. But funds should be allocated to projects based on the merits of the proposal, not whether the right backs are being scratched.
Does anyone wonder what Ron Paul would make of those expenses? But then again, we wouldn’t have to wonder, would we?