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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ken Blackwell's Great Ohio Pork Hunt: Turns Out It Looks Like A Political Snipe Hunt

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Ken Blackwell and the conservative Buckeye Institute were so convinced they could find flab in Ohio's budget that they created a project called Eye on the Statehouse that would declare a Porker of the Week each Friday. So, where's all this wasteful spending? The last Porker was July 1.

Technically, it seems the Buckeye Institute was going to be on its pork-hunt during the state budgeting process, which is now over. But it also said state government troughs were quite overflowing with tax-supported money for hogs to dine on. So why give up? Inquiring minds suspect the pork-hunt stopped because it could not deliver any bacon, which means Blackwell's big pork hunt itself was a waste. Has it managed to find a single project that everyone looked at and said -- outta here, oink-oink.

Read on about what the Buckeye Institute said about the state's $52.37 billion budget brimming with wasteful spending:

"Each Friday, Eye on the Statehouse announces the "Porker of the Week." It's our way of calling attention to particularly big or wasteful spending. Over the next biennium, the State of Ohio will spend $52.37 billion, including millions of dollars in pork. Ohioans, though the state budget, will continue to provide corporate welfare to Fortune 500 companies, publicity for the NFL, and rent for historicial societies statewide. Taxpayers will continue to subsidize obsolete international trade offices around the world, and wealthy nursing home owners in Ohio. Throughout the current budget, grant-grabbers, rent-seekers and earmark porkers have passed their bills onto the Ohio taxpayers."

A lot to work with or a lot of big-talk from the Buckeye Institute. Remember, it hasn't come up with a Porker of the Week for nearly two months.


  1. Or maybe it's because the budget passed unanimously? i.e. all the Republicans voted for it too.

  2. Hi Joseph --

    Maybe. But any budget that passed would have to have GOP support. Republicans have the majority in both legislative chambers in Ohio.

    I just think it was probably a publicity stunt. Blackwell, by the way, I see is now arguing that hedge funds are great for the economy and should be spared from taxation. A fair argument to make as far as it goes . . . but he did not mention that hedge funds could have some serious role in the shaky stock market because of their holdings in suspect paper. He does not mention the possibility of excess or risk. Blackwell is a decent fellow, but his shortcoming as a politician, I think, is his stridency. And what too often seems to be his lack of any kind of original critical thinking -- he parrots rather than generating his own thoughts. The Jesuits at Xavier certainly must have taught him how to think; wish he would do more of it.