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$744,325 to study the horseshoe crabs in Southwest Virginia

Our part of the country is hundreds of miles from the any beach, so what gives?

A really "good" relationship. To quote 2006 The Roanoke Times,

Congressman Boucher was defeated in 2010 by Morgan Griffith. Many in this growl Griffith doesn't bring home the pork that Boucher did.

Jan. 16--Sen. George Allen once jokingly called Rep. Rick Boucher "the mayor of Southwest Virginia. "...His office has helped bring in millions of dollars for Virginia's Ninth Congressional District since he was first elected in 1984, funding everything from police cars to downtowns, horse trails to fiber-optic lines..his constituents...live in some of the poorest areas of the state...

It all goes to how Boucher views his job as congressional representative for a large portion of Southwest Virginia: to further the region's economic development. "I spend a tremendous amount of my time and effort in attracting federal funds for these types of investment, and that is what my constituents expect," he said. Economic investment and job creation is "the No. 1 priority for Southwest Virginia."

Then why does the region continue to be ranked near the bottom year after year? To quote the Virginia Tobacco Commission study for 2008,

An area of great concern with regards to the ability to revitalize the economy is education for young people and adults...(for)...Congressional District 9 (a proxy for Southwest) have much higher percentages of population over age 25 with no high school degree, and much lower percentages of people with bachelor's degrees or higher than either the rest of the state or the nation...

As in the rest of Virginia, economic growth in Southside and Southwest Virginia is occurring in the services industries, including professional, technical, administrative support, healthcare, educational, repair, personal services, and "Other" employment categories including utilities, transportation, communication, information, finance, insurance, and real estate. However in the Southside/Southwest regions, the percentage of overall wages in these "information age" industries is still substantially below the rest of the State.

He will not address wage scales because that means going against the corrupt special interests and culture that dominates the region. After all, they lure business with the very promise of low pay and corporate welfare. Media General News Service March 27 2008 has this to say,

The 2009 federal budget will include funding for some strange animals if one Virginia lawmaker has his way. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat from southwest Virginia, has requested $744,325 to study the horseshoe crab and $250,000 for hair sheep - a unique bread of short-haired sheep that does not require shearing.

Both requests would go to Virginia Tech, which already has efforts to establish a "hair sheep research center" to study the genetics of the sheep and improve the animal's resistance to parasites, and get more people to buy the lamb's meat. "These are very expensive projects and our local governments simply don't have the resources to fund them on their own," said Boucher, speaking about his appropriation requests in general.

The reason the private sector would never fund this nonsense is because it's stupid and will never pay for itself. This is more funding and good jobs for our legions of white-collar parasites. The typical working-class resident will never see nothing but more poverty and dependence. But it isn't all bad. While we rank in the bottom ten percent in the nation,

(Washington, DC)- The non-partisan, public interest organization Congress.org has ranked U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher 11th in effectiveness in the 435 member U.S. House of Representatives. The ranking was part of the 2008 Congressional Power Rankings, which were released in March on the Congress.org website.

Yes, he is effective. 71% of Boucher's money comes from PACs.

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