Monday, March 2, 2009

I Just Don’t Get Rep. Cooper

S-Town Mike calls Rep. Jim Cooper to task for not funding some very necessary infrastructure projects:
He already voted against last week's House appropriation to make $51 million in repairs to the seeping and sink-holed Center Hill Dam. If that dam is not repaired it could cause flooding across the Cumberland River Valley, including low-lying parts of Nashville. Almost two years ago I showed how a dam failure could be a major problem for almost all of East Germantown, as well as sections of Germantown and Salemtown neighborhoods.

Why is Mr. Cooper so opposed to domestic spending that could protect the welfare of our neighborhoods?

That’s a good question, and it reminded me that a couple of years ago, Rep. Cooper (with help from then-Sen. Bill Frist) secured a $3.17 million earmark for a parking garage at David Lipscomb University, a private, Church of Christ-affiliated school in Green Hills. Granted, $3.17 million isn’t a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but also a parking garage at a private religious school doesn’t seem nearly as important as, say, repairing a leaky dam.

Bob Krumm decried the parking garage earmark as pork at the time, but Rep. Cooper saw it--and the rest of the $286 million billion transportation bill--differently:

"Funding for these projects in and around Nashville will significantly help us address the critical transportation issues our growing region faces," U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) said. "Support for these projects means jobs in our community today and significantly greater economic opportunities for the future."

So let’s get this straight: pork-laden infrastructure bills from 2005 provide economic development and create jobs; those in 2009 do not.

What am I missing here?