CommunityPam's House Blend

Alaska's Don Young: not sacrificing his $223 million bridge to nowhere

The senator on giving back some of his pork to help pay for NOLA reconstruction and Katrina victims: “They can kiss my ear!”

“Surely Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the transportation committee, might put off that $223 million ‘bridge to nowhere’ in his state’s outback. It’s redundant now — Louisiana suddenly has several bridges to nowhere.”

— The New York Times

“That same half a billion dollars (for the two Alaska bridges) could rebuild thousands of homes for suffering New Orleans evacuees.”

— The Wall Street Journal

This $223 million bridge that the Repug Young deems essential will connect Gravina, a town with less than 50 people, to Ketchikan, population 8,000. He’s not in the charitable mood to trim the fat to pay for his man Chimpy’s reconstruction efforts. (

In any case it won’t die: the idea that Alaska, to help Hurricane Katrina victims, should forfeit the dough it got in the federal highway bill for the Knik and Gravina bridges.

…No doubt to make Alaskans look bad, city leaders in Bozeman, Mont., are investigating whether they can give Katrina victims the $4 million they got in the federal bill for a downtown parking garage.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised the charitable pork idea on the Senate floor last week, although he stopped short of endorsing it. So, how about it, Mr. Chairman?

“They can kiss my ear!” Young boomed when Sam Bishop, Washington correspondent for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, asked him about the many pleas to redirect the bridge money.

That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Young went on, noting that Louisiana did quite well in his highway bill.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding