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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

NY Times Focuses on Rogers’s Continued Pork Spending

Earmarks spearheaded by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., are catching serious scrutiny in a report by The New York Times for a small military part with a hefty price tag.

Observes have commented in the past on how Rogers is known as the “Prince of Pork”, which clashes with the GOP’s austerity movement.

Despite a ban on pork spending two years ago, the newspaper finds that Rogers has steered tens of millions of back to Kentucky company and the military has bought close to $6.5 million worth of the “leakproof” drip pans.

From The New York Times:

The Kentucky company, Phoenix Products, got the job to produce the pans after Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican who is now the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, added an earmark to a 2009 spending bill. While the earmark came before restrictions were placed on such provisions for for-profit companies, its outlays have continued for the last three years.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Rogers Still “Prince of Pork” With Non-Profit Empire, Says Ethics Group

Calling him the “Prince of Pork”, an ethics watchdog group says U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has funneled more than $236 million in federal funds to several non-profit organizations that he created.

In March, Rogers swore off earmarks and joined a GOP pledge to cut spending and reduce the deficit, saying America was at a crossroad. As political observers noted, the 14-term congressman was a well-known defender of steering federal funding back to his district, but like many longtime GOP leaders (re: U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.) he publicly denounced the practice after Tea Party candidates were elected to Congress.

After a three-month investigation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims that Rogers has found ways to circumvent the earmark ban, and has established a non-profit “empire”.

From CREW:

Rep. Rogers sits at the center of an interconnected web that includes Kentucky nonprofit groups, a bank he partially owns, and several companies he has supported with federal money. These entities have strong ties to Rep. Rogers and to each other, and help extend the congressman’s influence in his district.

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Local News

City Fines Swift Pork Plant Over Odors

The Louisville Air Pollution Control District has ordered Swift and Company to reduce the odors coming from its Butchertown pork processing operation.    Dozens of residents have called to complain about the bad smell in the neighborhood.  Now, District spokesman Matt Stull says Swift officials must pay a $48,000 dollar fine and install new technology at the plant.

“By December 22nd they have to submit an application to construct what’s known as a new scrubber.  And that in essence scrubs the odors coming from the plant.”

From then they’ll have 60 days to install the equipment.  Stull says the plant ran afoul of regulations by not using odor control technology properly as well as not having enough controls in place.  Swift officials did not return messages regarding this violation.