Editorial: Salem's museum of porkYou guys in the GOP deserved this. There is no reasonable justification for this expenditure - unless Mr. Griffith wants to argue that it is a make-work project for the building trades. A weak argument, by any taxpayer's standards.
Expanding the Salem Museum is a great idea, but all of Virginia needn't pay for it.
Virginia faces an $861 million budget hole, and conservatives are loathe to dip into the state's rainy day fund to fill it. Maybe they should give up some pork instead.
They could start with the $440,000 going to the Salem Museum and Historical Society, which just happens to be in House Majority Leader and staunch anti-government ideologue Morgan Griffith's district. (link)
Of course the kids who write for the Times just can't leave well enough alone. They have to pull a hair and try to split it in order to weasel out of past pork cheerleading (that, oddly, wasn't sponsored by Republicans ...):
It is one thing for the General Assembly to support regional centers of the arts and education. Roanoke's Center in the Square and Transportation Museum, for example, are large-scale facilities that serve the community beyond the city limits. State assistance for such economic and tourism engines makes sense.Yeah, people from around the globe are flocking to that transportation museum. Thus it is worthwhile to shovel pork at it.
The Salem Museum is small and narrowly focused. As nice as it is, it does not share the broad reach of other facilities in the Roanoke Valley. State taxpayers should not have to subsidize what is ultimately a local project with strictly local benefits. Salem would get along just fine without expanding its museum.
In fact, few people who live up the street from it even know it's there. Fewer still have ever been inside. Has the roof ever been replaced since that storm hit a few years ago?
The point is valid. Pork is a political evil that needs to be called out wherever it raises its ugly head. And that head needs to be lopped off.
Here's to the Roanoke Times.