By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Top 10 lists are the rage, and now Sen. John McCain, the loudest whistle-blower on federal waste, has come out with his own Top 10 list of costly earmarks—and put it out via Twitter. Actually, he's produced five Top 10 lists, one each from the spending conference reports for homeland security, agriculture, energy and water, interior and commerce, and justice and science.
A famous tweet fan, just like his daughter Meghan, McCain has singled out congressional earmarks that are lavish, potentially wasteful, and sometimes hilarious. And the Arizona Republican has even added some commentary. For example, citing an $825,000 fund to help New Hampshire fishermen "due to the economic impacts of new and existing regulations," he tweets: "Just repeal the regs!"
Sen. John McCain's Top 10 Earmark Tweets
November 6, 2009
Top 10 DHS Conference Report Earmarks:
- $325,000 to study seismic activity in Memphis, TN
- $125,000 to replace a generator in La Grange Park, IL
- $130,000 to relocate the residents of 130 homes in DeKalb, IL
- $200,000 to retrofit a college radio station in Athens, OH
- $4 million for the Fort Madison Bridge in Fort Madison, WI
- $3.6 million for Coast Guard Operations Systems Center in West Virginia
- $900,000 for the City of Whitefish Emergency Operations Center in Whitefish, MT (Population: 6700)
- $300,000 to build a pier at the Coast Guard Academy in CT
- $800,000 for a portable battery recharging system in Tucson, AZ
- $250,000 to retrofit a senior center in Brigham City, UT
Top 10 Agricultural conference report earmarks:
- $165,000 for maple syrup research in Vermont.
- $5 million for a research station in Hawaii to study agriculture practices in the Pacific (Most expensive earmark in this bill)
- $195,000 to research how to increase the lifespan of peach trees in South Carolina.
- $349,000 for pig waste management in North Carolina.
- $500,000 to the National Wild Turkey Federation in Nebraska
- $1.3 million for greenhouse nurseries in Ohio
- $75,000 to promote "childhood farm safety" in Iowa.
- $300,000 to develop "Best Practices in Agriculture Waste Management" in California.
- $2 million for a fruit laboratory in West Virginia.
- $819,000 for catfish genome research in Alabama.
Top 10 Energy and Water conference report earmarks:
- $6 million for the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture
- $2.25 million for the Montana Bio-Energy Center of Excellence in Montana
- $1.2 million for the Alternative Energy School of the Future in Nevada
- $2 million for the Algae Research in Washington
- $10 million for the Sustainable Energy Research Center in Mississippi
- $1.2 million for the Hydrogen Fuel Dispensing Station in West Virginia
- $1 million for the Alaska Climate Center in Alaska
- $1 million for the Performance Assessment Institute in Nevada
- $750,000 for the Algae to Ethanol Research and Evaluation in New Jersey
- $1 million for the New School Green Building in New York
Top 10 Interior Approps Conference Agreement Earmarks
- $1.2 mil 4 rat eradication @ Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (5 sq mile island occupied by a few scientists studying coral reef)
- $200,000 for historic preservation of the Richardson-Olmsted Complex (former Insane Asylum) in Buffalo, NY - decommissioned in 1970s.
- $2.5 million for a wastewater treatment plant in Moorefield, WV (population of 2,375) $1,000 subsidy of per person.
- $1 mil for improvements to the Sewall-Belmont House in DC-Private museum by day, hotspot for fundraisers & lobbyist receptions by night
- $500,000 to "Vermont Wood Products Collaborative," to promote the development & marketing of wood products
- $500,000 for a tropical botanical garden in Hawaii.
- $150,000 to renovate an Opera House in Connecticut.
- $500,000 for a Native Hawaiian arts program in Hawaii.
- $100,000 for the Tahoe Rim Trail in Nevada to build a 15-mile hiking trail from Reno, Nevada, to Mt. Rose Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe.
- $750,000 for a Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.
Top 10 Commerce Justice Science Approps Conference Agreement Earmarks
- $825,000 to "provide assistance to NH's fishermen due to economic impacts of new and existing regulations." Just repeal the regs!
- $250,000 for "Turtle Observer Funding"
- $1M to "Save the Bay" an "independent, not-for-profit organization" accord to website. How independent if taking $1M govt handout?
- $500,000 for "textile research and development"
- $1 million for "Groundfish Industry Emergency Economic Assistance" in Maine.
- $1m for "Hawaii's Living Seascape Improvement" 2.3m Americans have rcvd foreclosure notices & have no $ 2 improve their living, unreal
- $1m to Thunder Bay Museum in MI--recipient of 6 earmarks in last 5 yrs for $6M taxpayer $ spent on building schooner & shipwreck exhibits
- $2.25M for University of Hawaii for "coral research"
- $1.6M for NW Straits Marine Conservative Initiative "a citizen-driven enviro protection commission"
- $300,000 for Texas A&M Univ for "Texas Height Modernization"