Canton Repository

April 10, 2003

Regula makes group’s pork list

Copley Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON — Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, secured thousands of dollars in federal funding for two local presidential museums in Canton, a taxpayer watchdog group reported.

Regula wrote in $243,000 for the National First Ladies’ Library and $45,000 for the McKinley Museum in the spending bills approved by Congress on Feb. 13, Citizens Against Government Waste said.

The earmarked funding was included in a list of Ohio projects put together by the watchdog group, which opposes what it calls wasteful pork-barrel spending.

Regula, who chairs a key panel in the House Appropriations Committee, apparently did not announce this funding when he reported millions of dollars in other projects he secured for the district earlier this year.

In its yearly report released Wednesday, Citizens Against Government Waste said pork projects reached a record of $22.5 billion, up from $20.1 billion last year, in the federal spending bills approved Feb. 13.

The funding for the First Ladies’ Library on Market Avenue S, whose founding chair and president is Regula’s wife, Mary Regula, will support renovation of a second building to house its collection. The funds earmarked for the McKinley Museum are to pay for the development of archival materials on President William McKinley, a Canton native.

The watchdog group did not include the aid to the library and museum in its “pig book summary,” which details what the organization considers the most egregious abuses of congressional spending authority.

Regula argues that members of Congress are ideally suited to make spending decisions for their districts. The watchdog group contends those decisions are better made by government agencies through a competitive evaluation.