The news that Las Vegas is seeking federal money to build the Mob Musuem has raised the issue of whether the stimulus package will amount to one giant pork-barrel spending bill. President-elect Obama has said that, “We don’t want is this thing to be a Christmas tree loaded up with a whole bunch of pet projects that people have for their local communities.” Of course, that’s easier said than done. In addition to the Mob Musuem, a group formed to oppose a $20 billion dollar expansion of O’Hare Airport has raised concerns that the federal stimulus will be used for the project, a key goal of Mayor Richard Daley, which Ronald Burris has said he would support. Daley himself has declared that mayors would have to go around the state government run by Blagojevich and take their case directly to Washington. The group, Stop the O’Hare Modernization Program, asserts that the $20 billion proposal would “1) require one-hour bus rides from remote terminals and parking lots, 2) require 45 minute aircraft taxiing times from remote runways to the terminals, 3) result in massive aircraft taxiing traffic jams because of an improperly placed runway 4) result in a several hundred percent increase in runway crossings which endanger public safety.” This is something worth keeping an eye on.
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