Writing in Roll Call, Paul Singer notes (subscription only) that one of Rep. Alan Mollohan’s earmarks — $1 million to acquire land to expand the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Northeast West Virginia — also happens to be in an area with which Mollohan has some familiarity:
…Mollohan owns two properties in Tucker County, near the boundaries of the refuge — one with a home and an adjacent lot, the other a lot with no building — that he lists on his financial disclosure forms as being worth a total of $550,000 to $1,100,000. With two ski resorts nearby and several housing developments along the same road, local officials say property values are skyrocketing in the area, and placing more land off-limits to development will simply increase the price of the existing lots.
Mollohan’s office rejects any suggestion that the earmark benefits the congressman; the great thing about disclosure is that the public can look at the facts for itself. (Of course, we’ll have to wait until June 14, 2008, to see whether the value he gives for those two properties has gone up–here’s Mollohan’s most recent financial disclosure form).