Popular South Dakota blogger Pat Powers from the South Dakota War College re-posts in his almost daily Stephanie Herseth Sandlin hit piece an ad from the NRCC that rips her support of the $787 billion stimulus package. Today’s target from the stimulus bill was $800,000 that went towards funding a rural Pennsylvania airport in Jack Murtha’s district.
Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin voted for the $787 billion so-called “stimulus” package, $800,000 of which has been used to fund the Murtha Airport in rural Pennsylvania that serves about 20 people per day. Each plane ticket in and out of this airport is subsidized by American taxpayers’ dollars to the tune of approximately $100. In total, Jack Murtha has racked up a $150 million bill for the “airport for no one” boondoggle – all on the taxpayers’ dime.
Of course what is absent from the Powers/NRCC rant is a little funding bill that our esteemed Junior Senator John Thune pushed through last year for another tiny airport a little closer to home.
You see Brooking Regional airport in Powers back yard had been receiving approximately $1 million a year in taxpayer supplied Essential Air Service (EAS) funding for years so that a handful of people (10-12 per day) could fly out of Brookings instead of driving 50 miles to fly out of Sioux Falls. That funding equated to a $677 per passenger handout at our expense.
Last year, Brookings and several other airports had their EAS funding removed from the federal budget and Senator Thune was the first in line to cry foul and introduce a bill restoring the $1 million waste of taxpayer dollars.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., argued on Tuesday that air service is truly essential to Brookings.
“Ensuring access to communities like Brookings strengthens the local economy, provides consumers with choices and makes the entire commercial airline network more valuable,” Thune said in a statement announcing his bill to restore subsidized services to all three towns.
So could Mr Powers or anyone else explain to me why it was ok for Thune to push through a bill specifically designed waste $1 million of our tax dollars in Brookings but it’s the end of the world when Herseth Sandlin votes to restore $800K as part of a $787 billion stimulus bill? (I think both are a huge waste of funds by the way)
Oh that’s right, she’s a member of the wrong party and it isn’t of the tea variety.
As an aside to this, while Thune was able to restore EAS funds for Brookings, they haven’t been able to get commercial flights going again so even though they got the funding, no one is using it.
So apparently it really was essential funding Senator Thune wasn’t it.