Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still waiting

There's been some movement on the Winona, MN federal funding request for its PRT Lab project with Taxi 2000.

And we're all still waiting for the dark, scam-my, pork-y backroom deal Ken Avidor had practically promised reader of his PRT Moondoggie blog. Remember?

Who are the "Possible Private Donors" for the Winona PRT Project?

The Winona Post has an article on the pods of Winona... I wrote about a similar pitch for a PRT resolution back in December 23, 2005...

...The PRTers have pulled variations of this scam in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Rochester. They convince some well-meaning councilmembers to vote for a resolution saying they are "considering" or "studying" a PRT project for their city.

The anti-LRT/anti-Northstar bunch (Bachmann and Mark Olson are prominent Northstar haters and PRT boosters) in the legislature use the resolutions to convince DFLers to vote for their anti-transit PRT bills because a PRT project in their district smells like pork. That's the Democratic Party for you, the Dems will eagerly hang themselves if the rope is made of pork.


Ken is always going on and on about how PRT is Republican and right-wing, and yet did you just notice what he did? He says "PRTers" "convince" local councils to support PRT -- but doesn't specify how the convincing happens.

It must happen like magic. He just needs it to be taken as read -- meaning he can explain away any support for PRT by any government jurisdiction and by any official, whether liberal or conservative. That's how Avidor's conspiracy theory works.

And notice how Avidor slams Democrats who secure federal funds for their districts -- even though for nearly three decades Minnesota has received less federal spending than taxes paid.

This is the reality of the funding process:

Walz listening on earmark requests

U.S. Rep Tim Walz has received requests for more than $280 million in earmarks for Winona-area projects, including $25 million to test transit technology in Winona and $26 million for preliminary work on a high-speed rail route along the Mississippi River.

Walz, DFL-Minn., last week posted on his Web site the nearly 100 federal funding applications from local governments and nonprofit organizations throughout his district. The earmarks target money already appropriated in the federal budget.
The congressman submitted 44 projects from his district last year, and his selections this year will be posted March 19 on his Web site. "He is looking for projects whose requesters share his commitment to transparency and accountability," [spokesperson Sara] Severs said.


One funding application, in competition with nearly 100 others, with criteria that includes "transparency and accountability." And reported in the media!  Where's the beefy scam, Ken?

Yes, the request to Walz (and also insurance proposals to Sens. Franken and Klobuchar) is an earmark -- now. As we can deduce from the cover letter of this package, the request to Walz is the backup ask, therefore the original grant request was rejected. So it's still a fact that when Avidor was claiming Winona was seeking an earmark, they weren't.


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