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That Road To Nowhere


    Remember the road to nowhere?
    You know, that $600 million dead-end road the National Park Service is thinking of building in Great Smoky Mountains National Park so a handful of families will be able to drive to family cemeteries that were isolated when Fontana Dam was built in 1943.Grsmmisty_mtns_copy
    Of course, there's little support for the road. Instead, many are lining up behind another alternative, one that would pay a $52 million one-time settlement to Swain County, North Carolina. One opponent to that alternative, though, happens to be U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor of North Carolina, who wants the road built.
    It turns out Mr. Taylor has some leverage: He runs the House subcommittee that has a say on the Interior Department's budget. The New York Times thinks Mr. Taylor's reasons for supporting the road ring hollow, and that the Interior Department would be better off signing off on the $52 million alternative. You can read the paper's position (for a free registration) here.


The good congressman's stance, I'd be willing to bet, has less to do with enhancing the transportation alternatives available to a handful of constituents than it does with accommodating some very special interests -- those who've kicked in campaign dollars to his re-election warchest. No, no, that couldn't be the case. Or could it?

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