Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Friday, April 28, 2006

Porker of The Month - Representative Alan Mollohan

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) Porker of the Month for abusing his position on the House Appropriations Committee by securing millions of dollars in earmarks that may have benefited him personally. The New York Times (04/08/06) detailed how Rep. Mollohan has directed $250 million to five nonprofit organizations that he set up. On April 21, Rep. Mollohan stepped down from his position as the senior Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. CAGW identified $480 million for pork projects added in the House or in conference committees, most likely by Rep. Mollohan, for his district since 1995. More than half of his earmarks have gone to the five nonprofits, most of which depend almost entirely on government money for funding. To run the organizations, Rep. Mollohan has recruited friends and former aides who then contribute to his political campaigns and family foundation. Businesses that are awarded contracts through these nonprofits also make campaign contributions. The National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint challenging the accuracy of Rep. Mollohan’s financial disclosure forms. The root question is whether a spike in Rep. Mollohan’s personal fortune had any connection to earmarks that he secured. In one example, the complaint looks at whether Mollohan properly reported 27 condominiums in Washington, D.C., co-owned with a cousin whose business once benefited from a federal contract in Mollohan’s district. The Times describes the network of nonprofits as “plush.” All but one of the nonprofits’ chief executives makes a salary that outpaced the $98,456 national average for nonprofit heads. The Institute for Scientific Research is in disarray after its chief executive resigned over his controversial $500,000 annual salary, paid for by federal earmarks. The institute is also using $103 million of earmarked funds to erect a lavish headquarters replete with a sauna and spa in a former cow pasture. As described by the Times, “the 57-member staff is barely large enough to fill a corner of the 600-plus capacity of the building.” The Canaan Valley Institute, which is building a $33 million headquarters with earmarked funds, grew out of an effort to create a wildlife refuge near property that Rep. Mollohan owns. In December 2005, Roll Call (12/08/2005) detailed how Rep. Mollohan has received campaign contributions from MZM, Inc. The company’s former owner, Mitchell Wade, was at the heart of the bribery scandal that led to the resignation of ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.). Rep. Mollohan was quoted in the article as saying, “All I care about is supporting companies and [federal] programs that companies are doing in my Congressional district.” West Virginia ranked 4th in pork per capita in CAGW’s 2006 Congressional Pig Book, which identified 9,963 pork projects costing a record $29 billion in the 11 appropriations bills for fiscal 2006. Rep. Mollohan received the Molehill into a Mountain “Oinker” Award for his $2.2 million in appropriations for the MountainMade Foundation, which promotes West Virginia arts and crafts on the Internet.
xxx Rep. Mollohan is Exhibit A in an appropriations process that is soaked with conflicts of interests and lends itself to abuse. For directing earmarks to wasteful projects that have the effect of swelling his campaign coffers and possibly his personal wealth, CAGW names Rep. Alan Mollohan Porker of the Month for April 2006. Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers bestowed by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)

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