Just got word, via Ed Frank of Americans for Prosperity, that an earmark to fund a museum near Woodstock that was requested by both Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Columnist Robert Novak noted some campaign contributions in connection with the earmark, which promised $1 million to the Bethel Museum. Novak wrote,
Bethel typifies the earmark epidemic because political insiders are often found pushing pork. The museum is funded principally by billionaire Alan Gerry’s foundation, which has annual investment income of $24 million. Federal Election Commission records show that Gerry has donated at least $229,000 to political campaigns, and his wife, Sandra, has contributed $90,000 over the past 10 years (including $26,000 in the last election cycle to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, headed by Schumer). On June 30, the Gerrys gave the maximum $9,200 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, three days after the two New York senators put the Bethel earmark into the Labor-HHS bill.
Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. Jon Kyl sponsored an amendment that diverted the funds from Bethel to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant program. Incidentally, the Bethel Museum earmark is still up for grabs on EarmarkWatch.org, as are many others. The Earmark of Aquarius isn’t the only sketchy one in there, and EarmarkWatch.org gives you the tools to find them.