Congresswoman Nancy Boyda followed her own example and again released her full list of earmark requests- while challenging every single other member of the Kansas delegation to do the same thing.
These aren't the projects Boyda has received funding for- these are just the projects that local governments and police departments all over the district have asked her to ask for in the federal budget.
The full list can be found here.
The other side is going to scream "pork-barrel projects," but Kansans know the truth: these aren't fluff, these aren't some pie-in-the-sky project, these are deeply necessary, gravely important funding issues that many of these city's have no other way to obtain.
Thousands for local police forces, thousands for infrastructure improvements- the list is filled with all the sorts of things Congress should be paying for and the sorts of things that could benefit tens of thousands of Kansans everyday.
Boyda, who is running for re-election this year, seeks $2.5 million for planning a new section of the Interstate 70 viaduct through Topeka. The Kansas Department of Transportation is interested in options to a curved 45 mile per hour zone that has recorded 122 crashes, including 44 injury accidents, in the past dozen years.
Boyda also recommended $1.6 million to buy land and design a redevelopment project on the Kansas River near the Great Overland Station and $1.5 million for water and sewer improvements near Heartland Park Topeka.
Smaller Topeka projects are: $834,000 to restore Constitution Hall, $500,000 for a Children's Discovery Center in Gage Park and $250,000 to study restoration of the former Wanamaker wetlands.
Jim Ryun is quoted in this same article, and the juxtaposition is just devastating- for him. Boyda has just announced the works she is doing on behalf of the district- and the work she is doing on earmark reform, and Ryun is quoted saying he'll not ask for a dime- even though he always used to- because we're in an earmark "crisis."
A crisis he let happen on his watch. He always leaves that part out.
Congresswoman Boyda didn't this time- and good for her for saying something.
Boyda announced she is proposing a bill that would require every member of Congress to follow her lead and make all earmark requests public. It will probably fail. Why? Because we have too many members of Congress like Jim Ryun, who talk the talk, but when pencil comes to paper, they refuse to actually do the right thing.
Boyda said local communities support the earmarking process. She received a joint letter from the city of Topeka and the Topeka Chamber of Commerce urging her to oppose an earmark moratorium.
She said Ryun was a member of the Republican-led Congress that increased earmarks 285 percent from 1994 to 2005, climbing to 15,877 from 4,126. She said Congress last year cut earmarked funding by one-third below the previous year.
"I have been a strong advocate for transparency," Boyda said. "It was the lack of transparency that created the crisis that Mr. Ryun pointed to."
For more witty analysis on this very subject , visit our friends over at Left Brain Kansas.