A county body in Florida voted today to send back
Rep. Don Young's (R-AK) $10 million earmark. Young rewrote the language in the bill while it was on its way to the President's desk -- after passing both Houses of Congress.
Originally, the $10 million was allocated for an I-75 expansion project in Lee and Collier Counties. But after Young's fast one, the money could only be used for an interchange to Coconut Road. That project is unpopular in the area, but a boon to real estate developer Daniel Aronoff, who held a fundraiser that brought in $40,000 for Young right before the earmark appeared.
This morning, the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization voted 10-3 to return the money and ask that it be reallocated for the broader project. It's not clear if that will work. Some experts told me the signed legislation carries the force of law. But, this situation is unprecedented
. We'll keep following the saga as it unfolds. The Naples Daily News
first broke that Young was behind the Coconut Road earmark and then how he changed the language
. They are blogging the MPO meeting live, here