Republican candidate Ron Paul may have Libertarian leanings, but that hasn’t stopped him from requesting tens of millions in earmark money from the government for pet projects in his district.
For example, in 2010, Paul asked for $4.5 million for the annual youth fair in Wharton County, Texas, population 41,000, records show. Events include the “chicken chase,” “bull blowout,” the “wee folks pet show,” and the “princess pageant.”
He also asked for $8.8 million over three years for something called the “Vanadium Safety Readiness Project.” And he asked for $2.5 million for a “streetscape” in Baytown, Tex., population, 71,000, including “landscaped sidewalks, benches, trash cans, bike racks and decorative street lighting.” He asked for $2.5 million for the Revelation Baptist Church and $1 million for the Kendleton, Tex. RV Park to “enhance tourism.”
Certainly, worthy projects, all.
In a debate on Dec. 29, 2011, Paul defended his record on earmarks. “They take our money and our highway funds, and we have every right to apply for them back,” he said, adding that Congress is out out of control on earmarks. “I never voted for an earmark, but I do argue for the people I represent to get their money back.”
The moderator asked him, “Aren’t you trying to have your cake and eating it too?”
“You’re missing the point,” he said.