Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tied Up During Woodstock
Sen. Tom Coburn doesn't want Federal funds going towards a "hippie museum" in upstate Bethal, NY, the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. So he killed a federal "earmark" of one million dollars. This has gotten a fair amount of press and is now part of the presidential campaign. John McCain was "tied up" during the Woodstock Festival. He gets good laughs with that line. The potential problem is that upstate Bethal, NY, and upstate NY in general, is Republican territory and many voters aren't laughing.
The Bethal Woods Center for the Arts is a museum and performing arts center built largely with funds provided by the Gerry Foundation (85 million) and the State of NY (15 million). It is hoped the Center will help in the economic development of an area of upstate NY by bringing in concert goers from NY city.
I'm not a big fan of "earmarks". Especially when the developer turns around and donates to the campaigns of the official who help obtain the earmark. But if earmarks are going to continue this certainly seems to be the type of project that is deserving of federal funds.
It's well known that NY pays out more in Federal taxes than it gets back.