RUMBLINGS FROM INSIDE...

RUMBLINGS FROM INSIDE THE BUBBLE. In his speech on immigration tonight, President Bush will be calling, once again, for "a tamper-proof card" to "help us enforce the law � and leave employers with no excuse for violating it." Whoever wrote this speech obviously hasn't been reading The New York Times lately, or he'd have known that the reason we don't have a tamper-proof card already is because of the self-dealing ways of a certain Kentucky Republican known to his local paper as "The Prince of Pork":

The Department of Homeland Security has invested tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of labor over the last four years on a seemingly simple task: creating a tamperproof identification card for airport, rail and maritime workers.

Yet nearly two years past a planned deadline, production of the card, known as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, has yet to begin.

Instead, the road to delivering this critical antiterrorism tool has taken detours to locations, companies and groups often linked to Representative Harold Rogers, a Kentucky Republican who is the powerful chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Homeland Security budget.

It is a route that has benefited Mr. Rogers, creating jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes. The congressman has also taken 11 trips � including six to Hawaii � on the tab of an organization that until this week was to profit from a no-bid contract Mr. Rogers helped arrange. Work has even been set aside for a tiny start-up company in Kentucky that employs John Rogers, the congressman's son.

"Something stinks in Corbin," said Jay M. Meier, senior securities analyst at MJSK Equity Research in Minneapolis, which follows the identification card industry, referring to the Kentucky community of 8,000 that has perhaps benefited the most from Mr. Rogers's interventions. "And it is the sickest example of what is wrong with our homeland security agenda that I can find."

Way to highlight the administration's lack of oversight and profligate congressional G.O.P. spending -- not to mention yet another burgeoning Republican corruption scandal.

--Garance Franke-Ruta

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)

Connect
, after login or registration your account will be connected.
Advertisement