It’s quite possible that recently re-elected and seemingly undefeatable Blue Dog Democrat Mike Thompson will seriously outdo Santa this year if the North Coast’s Congressional representative can deliver on the millions in earmarks he requested for 2010.
According to this D.C. pork watchdog group, Thompson’s appointment to the powerful House Ways and Means and House Intelligence committees might be paying big dividends for pet projects in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Yolo and Sacramento counties.
The most recent list of pork requests from Thompson includes 125 projects for more than $389 million.
And they all aren’t for the snobby St. Helena Wine Country area were Thompson calls home when he’s not at his U.S. Capitol office. There is a $5 million request for Eureka’s St. Joseph Hospital’s massive seismic retrofit and new tower construction, as well as $1.5 million request for the Martin Slough Interceptor project to upgrade outdated and aging infrastructure for future growth in south Eureka.
The largest earmark is a $80 million request for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. Saving salmon is a good thing. There is also a $29 million request for the Napa River Flood Control Project. Can’t argue with that one on it’s face.
The least spendy request came in for a paltry $100,000 to study the flood protection for the aging levee that may or may not protect Orick and its treasure of burl carvings in the event of the next big flood. Seems that Congress could scrape that up with change under a few of its couches cushions.
Of course, there are some questionable stuff such as the $2.5 million request for the Viticulture Consortium that funds grant research to enhance the “competitiveness of the grape and grape products industries.”
While Mike voted against the tax cut “deal” on Dec. 17 because, in part, “it puts $1 trillion dollars on the nation’s credit card, adding to our national debt,” he apparently doesn’t feel the nearly half billion dollars he’s requested is adding to that debt too much. Nor do we. Show us the money Mike!
If you woke up today and found funding in your budget for one of these projects, Merry Christmas! If not, there’s always the 2011 session of Congress and a whole new list of earmarks.
Filed under: Humboldt County