Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Yet more stinking corruption

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Sometimes it seems that Congress wades through stinking swamps of corruption in doing its daily work. Each Representative apparently decides whether to serve the public, businesses, or him/herself.  Certainly Ducan Hunter’s decision is clear:

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Ca.) on Tuesday defended his role in helping steer tens of millions of dollars to a La Jolla-based aerospace firm to develop a military jet the Pentagon did not want. Hunter aggressively supported the program over decades even though the Pentagon repeatedly questioned the jet’s feasibility and lambasted the contractor’s work.

La Jolla-based duPont Aerospace rewarded Hunter for his support for the program since 1988 with $36,000 in campaign contributions. The Alpine Republican had been chairman of the Armed Services Committee before Democrats regained control of the House earlier this year. He currently is running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

DuPont has long promised that the plane, the DP-2, will take off like a helicopter and provide greater speed, range, and troop-carrying capacity than the current generation of similar aircraft. For just as long, military officials have said it would never work as envisioned.

Hunter, defending his support for the program before the House Science and Technology Committee’s investigations and oversight subcommittee, said the DP-2 “represents potential leap-ahead technology to support our Marines and Special Forces … The idea around here that if the Pentagon doesn’t come up with something, that if the services don’t like it, you’re not going to build it is ridiculous.”

Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., who chaired the hearing, noted that the DP-2 “is still not operational and has never received a positive technical review in more than 20 years. Congress appears to have permitted the DP-2 program to become a hobby, not a serious research project.”

The aircraft has received $63 million in earmarked congressional spending since 1988, despite a series of Pentagon and NASA studies that found fault with the project. Earmarks are line items inserted into congressional spending bills at the request of individual congressmen without any public debate, discussion or disclosure.

Hunter gave no ground defending his use of earmarks to support a program the Pentagon didn’t think would work, saying earmarks play a vital role in research and development projects.

More at the link if you can stand to read it.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 June 2007 at 9:07 am

Posted in Business, Congress, GOP

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