Dakota Datebook

Pork-Barrel Funding and the Garrison Dam

Sunday, November 30, 2008


°Joe the Plumber° and the °Bridge to Nowhere°—they’re two of the new clichés we heard throughout this election year.

Political clichés are nothing new, but you might be surprised to find out the Garrison Dam was once considered a pork-barrel project like that Bridge to Nowhere. In fact, the dam and other water projects were considered °worse than pork-barrel” by some legislators and funding was almost denied because, according to New York Representative John Taber, °?even the sponsors and the Army Engineers can’t agree. They are millions of dollars apart on the potential value of the projects.°

As you know, funding was passed on this day in 1945 and the dam was built. But for a moment, the dam could have become a cliché for pork-barrel funding, much like that Bridge to Nowhere.

°Rivers Fund Restoration Fight Begun, Showdown in House Likely Wednesday; Year’s Loss Feared,° World Herald, Nov. 27, 1945
°Fund Resotred for Projects on Missouri River; Flood Levee at Omaha is Among Plans; Garrison Dam Height Held to 1,830 Feet; Limit to be Fought,° Lorne Kennedy, World-Herald Washington Bureau, Nov. 30. 1945

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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