Green Bay earmark in jeopardy

Federal funds to demolish Green Bay’s former downtown shopping mall could be a casualty of the Republican-led assault on congressional earmarks.

U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, has pushed for $1 million in urban redevelopment funds for the city demolition project.

Kagen, however, is preparing to leave office without a federal funding commitment.

And his successor, Republican Reid Ribble, has spoken out against earmarks.

“There’s a lot of question marks around it,” Kagen spokeswoman Allison Jaslow said of Green Bay’s funding request.

“I see it as something that could actually be in jeopardy now.”

Without federal aid, city officials would be forced to find a new funding source for a central element in downtown redevelopment.

Alderman Ned Dorff, whose district includes the shuttered Washington Commons, said he hopes the urban redevelopment funds still will come through.

“A million bucks is big. So, yeah, that would be a setback,” Dorff said. “We’re all kind of holding our breath on this one.”

Ribble, who will take office in January, said of earmarks, “We’ve got to get some type of control.”

He has not yet looked at Green Bay’s funding request, but he cited “intense pressure” to cut federal spending.

“I don’t know if this type of project is going to fall victim to that,” he said. (Source: Green Bay Press Gazette)

Whether Green Bay leaders like it or not this is something that should be a casualty right now. At least until the process can be reformed and made more transparent. For that to happen all earmarks need to be banned at this point. It’s a tough choice, but tough choices need to be made to rein in out-of-control spending.

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2 thoughts on “Green Bay earmark in jeopardy

  1. Agree completely. Green Bay’s downtown is in its current condition because of local decisions. It’s not the federal govt’s role to fix it.

    • That’s the mindset that needs to be established, it’s not the fed’s role. Lawmakers need to heed the advice in the sidebar from fmr Senator Thompson.

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