John McCain’s Own Pork Barrel Spending Comes to Light…Guess He Lied About That Too

From Progressive Accountability:

1991: $4.6 Million for Construction of Arizona Road

New York Times: McCain Got $3 Million for Road Project. In 2000, the New York Timesreported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by M r. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including…$3 million for the Turquoise Trail, a joint effort of the Navajo and Hopi tribes.” [New York Times, 2/18/00]

McCain Got Multi-Million Dollar Earmark for Arizona Road. In 1991, States News Servicereported, “Last year, however, McCain asked a key lawmaker to help secure funding for construction of Arizona’s Turquoise Trail road between Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations.Congress appropriated $4.6 million for the road after McCain sought help from Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation.” In 2000, the Union Leader’s editorial page editor reported that the earmark was for $3 million. [States News Service, 6/13/91; Union Leader, 1/12/00]

  • McCain Wrote Letter Asking For Funding. According to States News Service, McCain wrote the following in a letter to Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lautenberg: “The Turquoise Trail (will) promote the Black Mesa Region of both reservations by providing a reliable and critically-needed link between communities and employment centers.” The letter was written in July 1990. [States News Service, 6/13/91]
  • McCain Spokesman Defended Earmark. When questioned about the contradiction between McCain’s anti-pork rhetoric and his solicitation of the earmark for the Turquoise Trail, McCain spokesman Scott Celley “said McCain’s support for the Turquoise Trail last year ‘is irrelevant…What matters is the federal government has some $300 billion in deficits this year, and Congress has shown an inability to get a grip on spending.’” [States News Service, 6/13/91]

Arizona Republic Pointed To Earmark as Contradicting “Maverick” Image. In 2008, the Arizona Republic cited McCain’s 1991 earmark for the Turquoise Trail as one of “8 incidents that complicate” McCain’s image as a maverick. “1991: McCain’s crusade against pork-barrel spending hits a bump after it is revealed McCain wrote a letter in July 1990 to the chairman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee seeking money for an Arizona road called the Turquoise Trail.” [Arizona Republic, 4/6/08]

$56 Million for Arizona Flood Control Project

New York Times: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In 2000, the New York Timesreported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by M r. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including a $56 million authorization for an environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River.” [New York Times, 2/18/00]

Union Leader: McCain Got $56 Million for Project. In a 2000 editorial, the Union Leader’seditorial page editor wrote that McCain “collected more than $56 million for the Rio Salado environmental and habitat restoration project along the Salt River in Arizona.” [Union Leader, 1/12/00]

McCain Claimed Credit for Project In 2000 Press Release. In a 2000 press release issued by his presidential campaign, McCain included securing an authorization for the Rio Salado Environmental Restoration Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1999 in a list of “more than twenty initiatives either sponsored or co-sponsored by Senator John McCain” that were signed into law during the 106th Congress or were awaiting the president’s signature. Water projects, such as this project championed by McCain, cannot receive earmarks until they are authorized in the WRDA Bill. [Presidential Campaign Press Materials, 11/23/99]

McCain’s $56 Million Project Was Flood Control Project – Common Among Earmarks. An examination of S. 507, the Water Resources Development Act of 1999, shows that the project pushed for by McCain was described as follows: “Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona – The project for flood control and environmental restoration, Rio Salado (Salt River), Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona: Report of the Chief of Engineers dated August 20, 1998, at a total cost of $88,048,000, with an estimated Federal cost of $56,355,000 and an estimated non-Federal cost of $31,693,000.” [S. 507, Water Resources Development Act of 1999, accessed 4/8/08]

  • Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Contained Earmark for Salt River. In the Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, the Appropriations Committee “provided funds to conduct reconnaissance level reviews of two additional reaches of the Salt River in Phoenix, Arizona. These reaches, extending to the east and west of the Rio Salado, Arizona, project as currently proposed, are to be studied for environmental restoration and related purposes.” [Fiscal Year 2000 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]
  • Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Contained $1.097 Million Earmark for West Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill contained an earmark for “$1,097,000 for the South/Central Arizona Investigations program, including $300,000 for the West Salt River Valley Water Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]
  • Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill Included Earmarks for Salt River. The Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill contained earmarks for the Salt River: “$109,000 is available to complete the final report of phase II of the central Arizona salinity study and $250,000 for the West Salt River Management Study.” [Fiscal Year 2006 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill, accessed 4/7/08]

Millions For Tucson Environmental “Conflict Resolution” Center

New York Times: McCain Got $4.2 Million for Tucson Center. In 2000, the New York Times reported, “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, and a number of Republicans who have been criticized by M r. McCain said he had also advanced his own wasteful projects in Arizona, including…$4.2 million to create a national mediation center in Tucson.” [New York Times, 2/12/00]

  • McCain Sponsored Legislation To Create And Fund New Program at Tucson Center. In 1998, McCain passed S. 399, the Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution Act of 1997, through the House and Senate, and the bill was signed into law. The legislation authorized $4,250,000 for Fiscal Year 1998 and $1,250,000 each year for Fiscal Years 1999 through 2002. The Center is housed at the Morris K. Udall Foundation in Tucson, Arizona. [S. 399, Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution Act of 1997; Morris K. Udall Foundation, accessed 4/7/08]

Hundreds of Million for the Central Arizona Project (CAP)

1987: McCain Helped Secure $237 Million for CAP in FY 1988. In June 1987, the States News Service reported that McCain and other members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation “emerged from three days of intensive, closed-door negotiations Thursday to announce an agreement with environmental groups” to save hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the Central Arizona Project. In September 1987, the States News Servicereported, “The Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday approved spending $237 million for the Central Arizona Project in fiscal 1988…Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a press release, ‘This action indicates strong support for the CAP and portends favorable consideration by the full House and Senate.’” In 1987, the States News Service [Sates News Service, 6/18/87; States News Service, 9/15/87]

McCain Helped Make Arizona’s “Annual Pitch to Congress” for Funding. In 1987, States News Service reported, “Gov. Evan Mecham and Arizona’s congressional delegationdelivered the state’s annual pitch to Congress Tuesday for continued federal funding of the Central Arizona Project. In his first appearance before Congress since being elected last November, Mecham urged two budget subcommittees to approve the Reagan administration’s record $275.8 million fiscal 1988 funding request for the massive water development project. Joining the Republican governor were Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Arizona Reps. Morris K. Udall, Jim Kolbe, Jon Kyl and Jay Rhodes, and former Reps. John Rhodes, Jr., and Eldon Rudd.” [States News Service, 3/31/87]

Mercado Development

Arizona Trend: McCain Got Funding for Mercado Development. In 1989, the Arizona Trend reported that “McCain…got federal funding for the Mercado development in Phoenix.” [Arizona Trend, 3/1989]

  • Mercado Project was Failed Phoenix Development Pushed by Jailed Governor Symington. According to the Associated Press, the Mercado was “a Phoenix complex of offices, shops and restaurants resembling ancient Indian buildings in Mexico.” The project, which was only partly occupied and didn’t make any money, was spearheaded by Governor Fife Symington, a real estate developer. While in office, Symington went bankrupt. The Mercado was financed by six union pension funds, but “The unions foreclosed on the loan in 1991, and were awarded an $11.4 million by a judge.” [Associated Press, 9/20/95]

Orbital Sciences Corporation

McCain Helped A Phoenix Space Lab Secure A $25 Million Grant From The Federal Government. While they were busy fighting off charges from the Keating Five scandal, Arizona Senators Dennis DeConcini and John McCain helped secure a $25 million federal contract for a space science lab in Phoenix. Senator DeConcini said, “There was the ability to sell it, to float it politically, that this was a good investment for America. I’m glad to have John McCain as a colleague to work for a $25 million contract because it was not just good for Arizona, because it was good for small business and good for the nation, a partnership of the private sector and the federal government.” [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

McCain “Talked Tough” To Secure Money From The Department of Defense. Senator Dennis DeConcini said, “Did we do anything wrong by interceding? Well, that’s what I do for you, ladies and gentlemen. That’s my job. Maybe you didn’t know it, but that’s what I do. That’s what I did for McDonnell-Douglas. They came to me and said, you know, Sec. Cheney is only going to procure the grand total of 60 Apache helicopters; we think they ought to procure a lot more. What did we do? Sen. McCain and three Congressmen, including your Congressman here, went to see Mr. Cheney at his office with no staff. We sat down and we talked, we talked tough.” [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

McCain Helped Arizona Companies To Distract Arizonans From The Keating Scandal.“These are not happy times for DeConcini and McCain. They are both under a cloud. They are both under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. And they are both scrambling to convince Arizona that what they did to help the Orbital Science Corporation and other companies in Arizona like McDonnell-Douglas and Hughes Aircraft was nothing more, nothing less, than what they tried to do for Charles Keating and his scandal ridden Lincoln Savings & Loan Association, and that was to protect Arizona jobs.” [MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1/22/90]

With McCain’s Help, A Key Component To ‘Star Wars’ Was Produced In Arizona. “Orbital Sciences Corp. of Fairfax completed the first in a series of eight lightweight projectile missions for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. The LEAP-1 mission launch occurred Feb. 18 from the Army’s White Sands Missile Range, the company said in a statement. Orbital Sciences said the vehicle used in the mission was designed, produced and integrated by Orbital’s Space Data Division, based in Chandler, Ariz., and consists of an internally guided booster, a payload module bus, a target module and other associated hardware.” [Washington Post, 2/24/92]

McCain’s Earmark Helped Save Local Arizona Jobs. Orbital Sciences Corporation, which was in dire trouble in 1990, benefitted greatly from a defense contract valued at approximately $20 million. According to the Washington Post, “the company’s Chandler,Arizona based Space Data Division has won contracts totaling $ 20 million from the Army, Air Force, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and Titan Corp. covering suborbital launches.” [Washington Post, 8/2/90]

  • McCain Said He Has “Never Believed” Defense Contracts Should Create Jobs. According to the Associated Press, “McCain said jobs were not the key issue. ‘I’ve never believed that defense programs, that the major reason for them should be to create jobs,’ he told reporters in Phoenix. ‘I’ve always felt that the best thing to do is to create the best weapons system we can at minimum cost to taxpayers.” [Associated Press, 2/4/08]

McCain’s Pet Project Was a Waste of Taxpayers’ Money

McCain’s Pet Project Was Plagued By Problems and Delays. Tests of the Aries rocket, manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporations in Chandler, Arizona, were delayed due to “technical problems’ with the rocket. According to the New York Times, “The scheduled launching early this morning was delayed when a telemetry unit needed to monitor the rocket’s flight performance appeared to malfunction.” They added, “An earlier scheduled launching of the rocket on Aug. 23 was called off because a nearly identical rocket had to be destroyed three days earlier when it veered off course. That problem was traced to a computer programmer’s error.” [New York Times, 9/3/91]

The Pentagon Was Forced To Destroy A $10 Million Rocket After It Veered Off Course.The Pentagon was forced to destroy a $10 million Aries missile after it veered off course in a test of the Strategic Defense Initiative. “The rocket was manufactured by the Chandler,Ariz., Space Data Division of Orbital Sciences Corporation. One of its Prospector rockets was destroyed after experiencing guidance problems in a commercial launch last June.” [Christian Science Monitor, 8/21/91]

Nogales Wastewater Treatment Facilities

1992: McCain Requested $5 Million for Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Washington Post reported, “It turns out, McCain may not have always been so averse to earmarks.” The Post located a “1992 letter in which McCain privately pressed the Republican administration of President Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, to secure a $5 million earmark for a wastewater project in Arizona after Congress had rejected the request in its own spending bill. Spurned by his colleagues, McCain took his case to the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ‘I would like to request that EPA either re-program $5 million out of existing funds or earmark the amount from an appropriate account,’ McCain wrote in his Oct. 9, 1992 letter to then-EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, calling the earmark ‘crucial to protecting the public health and environment.’ Reilly wrote back a few months later – in the final days of the first Bush administration – saying his agency had ‘no options with which to fund this project.’” [Washington Post, 12/31/07]

  • McCain Made Kyl Do The Dirty Work. After 15 years of trying, Senators McCain and Kyl wrote another letter to the EPA in October of 2007. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “Again the EPA left it out, so Kyl — not McCain — put an earmark in the 2008 omnibus spending bill.” [Congressional Quarterly/St. Petersburg Times, accessed on 2/13/08]

Arizona Law Center

McCain Proposed $10 Million for Law Center in Arizona. In December 2005, McCain introduced S. 2136, the William H. Rehnquist Center Act of 2005. The legislation would provide $10 million over five years to establish the William H. Rehnquist Center on Constitutional Structures and Judicial Independence at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. The legislation was not voted upon. [S. 2136, William H. Rehnquist Center Act of 2005]

$14.3 Million for Luke Air Force Base

Roll Call Headline: “McCain Breaks Own Pork Rule.” In 2003, Roll Call reported, “McCain pushed for, and got, $14.3 million for Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base inserted into the just-completed fiscal 2004 military construction appropriations conference report.” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, who has battled with McCain for years over earmarks, said, “We don’t discriminate. … If he asked for it, we put it in.” [Roll Call, 11/6/03]

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2 Responses to “John McCain’s Own Pork Barrel Spending Comes to Light…Guess He Lied About That Too”

  1. waltwes69@aim.com Says:

    why doesnt obama bring this to the attention of the public? I am sure they would like to know

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