It was supposed to be all private money but alas even in death Teddy Kennedy has found a way to take from the American taxpayer. That the money is going to his own self aggrandizement would have pleased him. That the money came from “defense” would have pleased him even more.
The New York Times writes;
Here’s an unstated lesson: It pays to have friends running the Appropriations Committee.
More than $18 million of the $38 million in public funds for the center was funneled through the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, a powerful panel once run by other Senate powerhouses who have died in recent years: Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, and Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska.
Boy is that ever true.
But one would think people would be lining up to throw cash at the project given how great Kennedy was. Couldn’t the Kennedy clan pony up the dough? Or maybe just house the memorial in the basement of the Hyannis Port estate?
But why have the family or friends of the Kennedy’s pay for Teddy’s monument when one can get the taxpayers to do it?
President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will all gather to praise the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Much will be said about Kennedy’s 46-year record in the U.S. Senate, nothing about various scandals that ranged from Chappaquiddick to his attempts to have the Soviets intervene in the 1984 presidential election against Ronald Reagan.
Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr points out that the Insititute “was supposed to be paid for exclusively with private donations.” But it should come as no surprise that the gorgeous 40,000-square-foot building that will house Kennedy’s papers and memorabilia as well as a recreation of his personal office and the Senate chamber was financed with a generous $38 million congressional earmark. The state of Massachusetts chipped in with another $5 million for education “infrastructure.”