October 2, 2008
Lawrenceville, NJ - U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer's "Waste of the Week" campaign this week highlights an $50 million earmark for an indoor rainforest to be built at taxpayer expense with Senator Frank Lautenberg's support.
The $50 million earmark for an indoor rainforest project in Coralville, Iowa was added in conference to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill in late January 2004. (Citizens Against Government Waste 2004 Pig Book, and The Incredible Shrinking Rain Forest, Michael Judge, The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2006)
To complete this five-acre project-which would be the world's largest enclosed rainforest-it is estimated that $225 million would be needed. (Citizens Against Government Waste 2004 Pig Book, and The Incredible Shrinking Rain Forest, Michael Judge, The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2006)
"Senator Lautenberg has a long record of helping other lawmakers use the pork-barrel game to channel funds to support extravagant pet projects in their states. This $50 million tropical boondoggle does absolutely nothing to resolve the energy crisis or help the environment.
"For 24 years, Senator Lautenberg has been taking money out of the pockets of New Jersey taxpayers to fund wasteful pork for his friends, and it has got to stop. New Jersey taxpayers are in the midst of an energy crisis, an affordability crisis and now a financial crisis. Is an indoor rainforest really a priority worthy of federal funds?
"We need to elect fiscally responsible officials who know how to rein in government spending. As your Senator, I will be dedicated to putting New Jersey taxpayers first, cutting wasteful spending and bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington."
Zimmer's "Waste of the Week" campaign is designed to highlight Senator Frank Lautenberg's record of supporting wasteful spending and pork-barrel politics at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers. Previous Wastes of the Week were the $300 billion Farm Bill, the $389 million Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, a $225,000 pamphlet on beaver damage, various Monuments to Me spending projects, the Teapot Museum in North Carolina, the Joplin, Missouri interchange, Amtrak's Sunset Limited and renovations for the Scottish Rite Theatre in Collingswood, NJ.