Bonner's new role good for his district

Published 5:14 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008

By Staff
It's easy to say you're against pork barrel spending when all that pork is feeding someone else's congressional district.
So we have to admit that when we heard that U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, has been appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, visions of dollar signs started dancing in our heads - and we're probably not alone.
But Bonner, in a statement announcing the appointment, said he is committed to reforming the current “earmark” system and eliminating wasteful spending.
We support his efforts. With the economy in the state it's in and the U.S. dollar worth less than the currency in many other Western countries, we need lawmakers who will be safeguards of taxpayers' money.
That said, serving on the Appropriations committee gives Bonner and Alabama more political clout - and that can only be good for our state and for the first Congressional district, which includes Escambia County.
Bonner's appointment is a statement about his integrity as a political leader, and it in turn will speak well of our region.
Bonner's appointment also comes at a time of great change in south Alabama.
With ThyssenKrupp coming to Mobile County and other economic development projects on the horizon, south Alabama's economy is poised to make a major impact not only on the rest of the state but on the nation as well. The TK project alone is the largest private economic development project in the nation.
Some of those projects could need federal help down the line, but because of their impact on the region, the state and the nation, it's hard to think they would be considered “wasteful” spending.
Alabama's fortunes have been improving for several years, since Mercedes Benz built a new plant near Tuscaloosa and many other industries began taking notice of our state. Our state's leaders have proven themselves by pulling the state up by its bootstraps, and a little recognition for that hard work isn't exactly uncalled for.