Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

$1 Million for New York Woodstock Museum

John McCain made sure that his then-presidential rival Hillary Clinton paid for proposing this failed earmark as part of the FY 2008 health and education spending bill. Clinton and fellow New York Sen. Charles Schumer requested a million bucks to put towards a project in their state, backed by a major Democratic Party contributor, commemorating the 1969 music festival. McCain made the earmark one of his talking points during the primary season, using it against Clinton in a Republican debate, then later in a campaign TV ad. On the stump, he called it "a shining example of what's wrong with Washington on pork-barrel, out-of-control spending." Conservatives went further, calling it a hippie museum and taxpayer-funded LSD flashback, while others just didn't want their constituents to foot the bill. The measure was ultimately defeated in the Senate 52-42 in a vote that many said reeked of presidential politics. Clinton mostly changed the subject when asked about the spending, while Schumer defended it, saying it would help create jobs in upstate New York.