Oklahoma gets smaller cut of Congress’ ‘pork’ pie

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: April 15, 2009 at 5:08 am •  Published: April 15, 2009
WASHINGTON — Are Oklahomans getting their fair share of pork?

Apparently not, according to the latest Pig Book, released Tuesday by Citizens Against Government Waste, which monitors so-called pork barrel spending in Congress.

The group reported that Oklahoma fell to 44th in pork per person, after lawmakers from the state secured $68 million in earmarked special projects in the current fiscal year. Last year, the state ranked 34th.

Included in the group’s Pig Book were Oklahoma earmarks for universities, small defense contractors, cities and towns, hospitals and state agencies.

Oklahoma has five members of the U.S. House, all of whom secured projects for their districts. However, of the two senators, only Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, requests projects. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, is a critic of earmarks.

According to Citizens Against Government Waste, the national average for spending on special projects this year is $29.60 per person. Oklahomans will receive $18.

Reagan statue going up

A statue of former President Ronald Reagan will be unveiled June 3 as California swaps one notable speaker for another in the U.S. Capitol. Each state has two contributions to the National Statuary Hall Collection. Reagan will replace Thomas Starr King, a Unitarian pastor.

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