Southern senators masters of earmarks

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. — It’s early on a Monday in north Alabama’s “space city,” and Sen. Richard Shelby is bashing Washington at a packed town hall meeting at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

“We’re spending a lot of money that we don’t have,” the veteran Republican tells hundreds of business leaders, many nodding in agreement.

Lost in the moment is this irony: Shelby’s anti-spending message is being delivered in a government-built museum to which he frequently steers public money. The admiring crowd is made up of people whose livelihood depends on federal aerospace programs that drive the local economy.

And the main point of Shelby’s speech is to assure them he’s fighting to stop NASA budget cuts and keep the spigot in Washington flowing.

AP
4/17/10