Commentary: Murkowski flip-flops on spending

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

"All this spending adds up, and has to be paid back -- by our children and their children." –Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in her Feb. 14 national media address criticizing the federal stimulus package as too large

Nine days after airing that complaint about the federal stimulus, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski issued a six-page press release bragging that Congress is working on a bill that shovels $180 million into more than 100 Alaska projects and programs.

Alaska's haul includes some things that look like the "pork" that Republicans assailed in the stimulus legislation.

The spending bill touted by Sen. Murkowski has $332,500 to redevelop an abandoned cannery in Craig and $665,000 for a bigger bus bay in the Mat-Su Borough. The PTA will get $238,000 to "train parents" and a nonprofit group will get $150,000 to "advocate for small boat community-based fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska."

During the stimulus debate, Republicans made a huge fuss over the possibility that the federal money might be used for recreation projects or museums or other alleged frills. Sen. Murkowski supported the successful move to bar any stimulus money from any "aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project."

But lo and behold, it turns out those types of projects are worthy of good ol' ordinary federal dollars.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.