Secretive Senator Stevens

Alaska’s great Senator Ted Stevens, the deserving target of much ridicule recently, has been outted as the senator who placed a secret hold on government earmarking legislation. (via Slashdot and Instapundit) What happened:

Until now, it was a political whodunnit as to who quietly blocked legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year.

While speculation centered on Stevens, there was no confirmation. Under Senate rules, the hold remains cloaked in secrecy unless the senator who places it lifts it.

Here’s Senator Coburn’s syopsis of the bill, which sounds like common sense and something our gluttonous government needs.

So, why did Stevens block it? He wanted a “cost-benefit analysis” ran on the thing and was worried more bureaucracy would be created. These worries in and of themselves are not necessarily bad, but the worries — if even sincere! — are misplaced for sure. The cost of running a database like the one proposed would be fairly minimal, especially when compared to the benefits provided to Joe Taxpayer. My job entails administrating a platform that I’d imagine would be fairly comparable to what would be required for this database in terms of volume of information, traffic loads, and complexity, and I’m just one tiny, tiny corner of the company’s revenue and costs. And of course, a negligible amount of bureaucracy would be created (somebody’s gotta admin the thing, right?), but again this would be minimal when compared to the already enormous bloat of the federal government.

So, congratulations, Senator Stevens, you suck at representing the people. I hope you catch a whole lot of electoral hell for this, and your 37+ years of public service come to an end. I know if I was still an Alaskan resident you would have lost my vote.

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