October 11, 2006

Bringing it Home: Earmarks

John Wilke:
Charles Taylor, wealthy businessman and banker, owns at least 14,000 acres of prime land in western North Carolina. He's also the local congressman. So when he steers federal dollars to his district, sometimes he helps himself, too.

Last year, Mr. Taylor added $11.4 million to a big federal transportation bill to widen U.S. Highway 19, the main road through Maggie Valley, a rural resort town in the Great Smoky Mountains. His companies own thousands of acres near the highway there and had already developed a subdivision called Maggie Valley Leisure Estates.

Mr. Taylor also got $3.8 million in federal funds for a park now being built in downtown Asheville with fountains, tree-shaded terraces and an open-air stage. It's directly in front of the Blue Ridge Savings Bank, flagship of his financial empire. He is among the richest congressmen with assets of at least $72 million, records show.

The Republican lawmaker is one of at least a half-dozen House members whose public actions in directing special-interest spending known as earmarks have also benefited their private interests or those of business partners, according to congressional, corporate and real-estate records. Among them is a senior Democrat, Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.
More on earmarks. Posted by James Zellmer at October 11, 2006 10:31 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Politics | Taxes