When Taylor flip-flopped on Flight 93, OK folks screwed

North Carolina Congressman Charles Taylor (R-11) held up a White House request for funding for Flight 93 memorial for two years. Taylor only relented in May, 2006 when publicity from a related movie brought on massive media attention. Taylor cited an undisclosed agreement as the reason for his change of heart. According to Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook, Jr, there was a similar signed agreement to fund the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. And Taylor has since reneged, denying the Oklahoma memorial their promised $2 million.

Taylor chairs the Interior Appropriations subcommittee, which oversees the National Park Service budget.

The $5 million dollar Flight 93 memorial request was for land acquisition for the 1,700-acre site in rural Pennsylvania. Supporters of the memorial park say that except for one more $5 million grant next year, they plan to raise the rest of the $58 million price-tag through private donations.

United Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001 outside Shanksville, PA. It has been speculated that the plane would have been flown into either the U.S. Capitol or the White House. The plane crashed into the ground after passengers attempted to take over the plane from hijackers.

With no publicity, Taylor had been the lone hold-out to the White House request for two years. Victims' families, White House officials, and the Pennsylvania congressional delegation had pressured Taylor to no avail for two years until he relented the very week the Flight 93 movie was released.

In the same bill, with little publicity, Taylor left out of the budget a requested $2 million for an endowment for the Ocklahoma City bombing memorial. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Rep. Ernest Istook Jr., (R-OK) offered words of warning for the Flight 93 memorial advocates. He said he was still trying to get the $2 million the federal government promised as an endowment for the memorial to the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

. . .

During yesterday's hearing, he told Mr. Taylor he was angry that the committee has so far refused to provide the additional $2 million. He noted that Mr. Taylor demanded a similar signed agreement from parties involved in Oklahoma City memorial.

Taylor cited fiscal restraint for blocking the Flight 93 funding as well as denying the Oklahoma City memorial endowment fund request. Together those requests total $7 million.

For years Taylor has been pushing for a $590 million 26-mile road in the most undeveloped section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A majority of the local community as well as local elected officials have been repeatedly supported a $52 million settlement plan.

Taylor has insisted the road costs can be reduced to $300 million, according to a contractor he "talked to."

Taylor says the road, known as the "Road to Nowhere," is needed so that people can get to cemetaries. The road was promised to residents relocated in the 1940s when Fontana Dam was built. The flooding cut off access to several communities. The residents were relocated. Without the raod those still living have no choice but to use ferry boats to access family cemetaries.

Partial Bibliography

Congressman relents on Flight 93 funds
Friday, May 05, 2006
By Maeve Reston, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Congressman Taylor Disrespects North Carolina Family of Flight 93 Crew Member Screwy Hoolie's Blog April 26, 2006

You Thought Taylor Couldn't Get Worse Southern Dem's blog April 24, 2006

House panel OKs $5 million toward Flight 93 memorial
Associated Press

Flight 93 memorial impasse defeated
By Patti Dobranski
Friday, May 5, 2006

Flight 93 funding standoff ends
The Tribune-Democrat

N.C. Congressman Blocks Flight 93 Memorial
The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 25, 2006; 6:49 PM

Taylor yields on Flight 93 site
House panel OKs $5 million for land acquisition
by Ellyn Ferguson, eferguso@gns.gannett.com
published May 5, 2006 12:15 am


Ah Chuck

A man of his word. Not.

There's a lesson in here about honor among thieves, but I'm just not sure what it is. However I'm quite certain that on the question of the honor of Charles Taylor, there is none.

Great diary, Martha.


This is your best writing yet, and a hell of an important story.

There are several themes, but one is this:

"If you die in one of America's great tragedies, I will not pay to have you remembered."

Another is this:

"We can't spend money on dead people when we've got roadbuilders waiting for unnecessary jobs."

You have your finger on the pulse with this one, Martha.

On which day ought we have a phone jamming action to Taylor's office?

I'd like folks to call to ask about
1) The Oklahoma Bombing memorial
2) The Blue Ridge Parkway underfunding
3) Abramoff
4) The vote against Russian Democracy (see here if you missed it)
5) Freestyle!

How's Monday for everybody? Starting at 9am? A flood of phone calls at the beginning of the week can put folks off their game. The secretary, press secretary, that nice man named Earl, and whoever else need to be busy talking to us instead of busy doing Taylor's campaign or legislative business.

Who's in?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Monday's good for me.


Hi. Why doesn't Charles Taylor support the Blue Ridge Parkway? I don't understand. It's right here in North Carolina and it's a huge part of our travel in tourism industry. Why would he be backing a $50 million road to nowhere instead of helping keep up this national treasure?

Great Idea;

I'm in.

As long as you don't literally ahem....

jam the phone lines. Because, that would be, um, illegal. :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Nice job Martha...

Has anyone pointed out that it doesn't matter whether it is 590 million or 300 million...it's still too much? When you have children starving and going without health care in your country, you don't spend 300 million dollars on a road to access a cemetery.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm in

But I don't have any jam.

Me, too

But we only have red plum and raspberry.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Honey would work nicely

I mean....it's sticky and sweet. It should goo up the ear of the buffoon on the other end...

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Gooey or Slick

Just so long as folks call. I'll announce it Monday A.M. at Scrutiny Hooligans.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us