The Congressional Pork Map is a project of the Center for Renewing America and the American Accountability Foundation to educate the American People about the size and scope of Congressional earmarks in their community. It is also a tool to allow citizens to use their unique knowledge of their communities to exercise oversight on their Members of Congress.
Before we take a look at these spending requests, who is asking for what and discover their networks and agendas, let’s take a minute to review the United States Constitution:
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 1
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States….
As a matter of original meaning, there is reason to doubt whether the federal spending power flows from this clause. On its face, the clause grants only the power to tax, and any inference of a spending power from the clause’s language about the “general Welfare” leaves unexplained where Congress obtains the power to spend borrowed money or the proceeds from land sales. It is more plausible to locate the federal spending power in the Necessary and Proper Clause, or perhaps even the Territories and Property Clauses of Article IV. Nonetheless, modern law has settled on the Taxation Clause as the source of federal spending authority, though a more accurate description would be to entitle the clause as “The General Welfare Clause.”
Now let us begin to review why these projects are worth considering as #PorkSpending. As you critically think through, perhaps even researching information for yourself regarding taxation, ask yourself about the character of the people requesting the money. Ask if these unrealistic burdens are being placed upon taxpayers in these redistribution of wealth schemes for personal reasons, like connections, pay offs, or part of a great reset in the culture of the organizations.
Who will get the money?
How will it be distributed?
What is the person or company track record?
How will the person or company benefit from these taxpayer dollars?
What is the profit margin for the person or business?
What does the requestor benefit from or gain from supporting these requests?
How does the requestor pay off supporters with these requests or how is the requestor connected to the beneficiaries of these requests?
How do these requests fit into the boundaries of the FEDERAL SPENDING CLAUSE and the examples given whereby these types of things were not approved of in the early days of our nation?
Salt River Project
6150 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale, AZ 85306-4001 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $1,125,000 Description: These funds, requested by Salt River Project, would support a feasibility study to evaluate the impact of sedimentation accumulation in the Verde River Basin and help identify new ways to restore water storage capacity. The accumulation of natural sedimentation in the Verde River Basin has significantly curtailed the water storage capacity of Horseshoe Reservoir – one of SRP’s seven federally owned reservoirs. SRP expects higher temperatures and less predictable precipitation on the Verde River
Learn more about Sediment and Suspended Sediment here. And then ask why over a million dollars for a feasibility study because this problem is nothing new and surely they can do it all for way less money.
32nd Street and Thomas Road Intersection Safety Improvements
200 West Washington Street, 12th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $960,000 Description: These funds, requested by the City of Phoenix, would make critical safety improvement to this high-priority intersection, including traffic signal rebuild, crosswalk enhancements, street lighting and ADA upgrades. This intersection is ranked as the 39th most dangerous intersection in the region by the Maricopa Association of Governments.
This does appear to be an emotional appeal for money that is a LOCAL problem, not worthy of a #RedistributionOfWealth request. Why doesn’t the City of Phoenix pay for their own solution? It seems highly inappropriate to ask for federal funds when the City of Phoenix should be taking care of their own problems with their own tax and spend money confiscated from local taxpayers.
Or maybe the City of Phoenix can host their own #FundMe account to raise the money locally for a local solution? Here’s a list of the TOP 10 resources to get the City of Phoenix started: #FundYourself
Pork Man Stanton’s running total: $2,085,000.00
Growing BIPOC Micromanufacturing Entrepreneurs
31 East 5th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $500,000 Description: These funds would support the City of Tempe’s efforts to lift up local entrepreneurs—with a focus on BIPOC entrepreneurs—and help them overcome the most significant obstacles to start-up manufacturing through grants to cover the cost of space, start-up raw materials and equipment necessary for micromanufacturing. The funds would also support Tempe’s effort to train and coach entrepreneurs.
Uh, this is not the federal responsibility, to fund and lift up entrepreneurs in Arizona. This is not the Federal Government’s job to support or pick winners and losers. And to use taxpayer money to create and train coaches? Uh NO! This is a horrible request and an abuse of working class taxpayers resources that ought be used for things like #DefendTheBorder.
Pork Man Stanton’s running total: $2,585,000.00
Downtown Small Business Revitalization and Rehabilitation Program
20 E. Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85201 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $300,000 Description: These funds would assist small businesses in downtown Mesa with façade improvements, including new or refurbished business signage, colonnade rehabilitation or removal, and small- to medium-sized façade design and construction projects. Downtown Mesa is a federally designated Opportunity Zone and locally designated Redevelopment Area.
Uh again, not worthy of Federal Taxpayer Dollars. This is a Mesa problem not a national problem and certainly not worthy of a redistribution of wealth request.
Pork Man Stanton’s running total: $2,885,000.00
111 South Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85204 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $600,000 Description: These funds would help renovate 5,500 square feet of existing space to build out Café (Children, Adolescents, and Families Empowered) Stapley to create a model apartment for high-risk and at-risk youth, ages 12 to 17, in Arizona communities to support teaching day-to-day skills and relationships. This model of care holds promise to reduce costs of health care related to emergency care, residential treatment and other societal costs realized in the justice system.
Notice the use of the language to make you feel emotionally attached to the Mesa Arizona problem. Ask yourself:
Is this a state funded civil religious order?
Is this state funded religious order to be more respected than the tenants taught in Judeo-Christian values?
How is this designed to replace family as the fundamental unit of society?
What does “holds promise” mean?
What will be paid back to the taxpayers if this civil religion does not meet measurements?
And more importantly, why is this not being funded out of Local Taxpayer dollars, where locals have vested interest in watching this program to hold it accountable?
By the way, how many generations of state funded programs does this program trace back through these “children”?
In other words, how many people going back in their family lines have been recipients of state welfare assistance?
Are these children of children and or parents who have received welfare assistance back how many generations?
Pork Man Stanton’s running total: #3,485,000.00
Equitable Pathways Program
1809 S. Dobson Rd., Ste. 214, Mesa, Arizona 85202 Member Requesting: Greg Stanton Amount: $300,000 Description: These funds would support the Aliento Education Fund’s efforts to boost first-generation immigrant and Latino students through social-emotional programming. These programs include paid student fellowships and internships; building the capacity of educators, counselors and school leaders through professional development on college access and post-secondary pathways; and supporting collaboration with cross-sector partnerships such as school districts, community colleges, universities, businesses,