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And the cost to taxpayers keeps going up and up. At first the Teddy Shrine was funded to the tune of about $6 million, but, true to form, that was way off the mark.
What a fitting tribute to a man who spent a life spending everybody else’s money but took personal credit for the philanthropy:
The amount of taxpayer money being funneled to a Dorchester shrine to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has ballooned to $38 million and could rise to at least $68 million this year, infuriating watchdog groups who insist the project should be privately funded.
With $38.3 million in federal earmarks already secured for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Sen. John F. Kerry and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) have in recent days tapped the government for $30 million more in the next budget.
The new taxpayer-funded total would cover the full $60 million estimated cost of building the project, adjacent to John F. Kennedy Presidential Library at Columbia Point. And it would put the public on the hook for nearly half the projectâ€™s $150 million target.
You have to love these libs who are exceedingly generous with our money. John Kerry could find enough in change at the bottom of his wifeâ€™s Prada purse to build this thing, but funding it privately would be anathema to the principles Ted Kennedy held dear and fought for when he was alive.
How important is this project? Important enough to divert US troop funds for guns and ammunition to pay for The House That Chivas and Taxpayers (but mostly taxpayers) Built.
Wouldn’t Ted want that $70 million to go towards health care for the poor instead of a monument to himself? Don’t answer that.
And here’s your laugh line for the day:
Markey and Kerry also defended the projectâ€™s growing cost, saying it could draw tourists to Boston.
“Honey, should we go to Disneyland or Cancun this year?”
“Scratch all that — we’re going to the Ted Kennedy Institute!”
Actually, a source tells me that taxpayers will indeed get their money’s worth, because our $70 million will also fund the following:
â€“Construction of the â€œDike Bridge to the 22nd Centuryâ€
â€“A glass-bottom boat tour of Poucha Pond
â€“The â€œJack & Bobbyâ€™s Marilyn Monroe Rodeo Re-Enactment Showâ€ in the JFK Museumâ€™s Adultery Wing.
â€“Declaring Au Bar a national landmark
â€“Free vision screening in the “Patrick Kennedy Depth Perception Testing” room
â€“Ceremonial bronzing of silver spoons for all family members holding rank of second cousin or higher
â€“Changing the name of the Boston Marathon to the â€œRum Runâ€ in honor of Papa Joe
â€“Commissioning singer Tony Orlando to record all of the Kennedy familyâ€™s favorite songs on a commemorative CD entitled â€œKnock Three Times on the Ceiling if Jackieâ€™s Comingâ€
So that’s a pretty good deal for just $70 million.
As always, Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.