[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/18/mayors.pork/art.polar.bear.jpg caption="The mayors' proposal requests a $4.8 million polar bear exhibit at the Providence, Rhode Island, zoo."]Abbie Boudreau | Bio
CNN Investigative Correspondent
When you think of critical infrastructure projects, what do you think of? I would guess, most people think of crumbling roads and bridges, or renovations to schools and water treatment plants. Recently, the U.S. Conference of Mayors created a list of “Ready to Go” jobs and infrastructure projects. It’s more than 800 pages long. The group believes emergency federal money should be used to help start around 11,300 critical projects, and it’s asking Congress for $73 billion.
But the report seems to read more like a wish list for cities throughout the country. If you read the list carefully, you will find plenty of projects that are raising red flags. We found cities asking for millions of dollars to build skate parks, horse trails, a duck pond, and a dog park. We also found cities asking for a new, $1.5 million ride at a water park, a nearly $5 million polar bear exhibit, and a $20 million minor league baseball museum.
Don’t get me wrong, these projects all sound great if you live in that community, but should the federal government be using emergency money to pay for a $3 million mural in Long Beach, Calif.? My producer and I contacted many of these cities to ask about their projects, and all of them felt they were critical infrastructure projects, though several city officials told us these new projects would not necessarily create new jobs.
Filed under: Raw Politics
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