Duncan Hunter Keeps Bogus Plane Alive Through Earmarks

| Tue Jun. 12, 2007 12:05 PM EDT

Presidential candidate and Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter has kept a useless defense project alive for years even though it has been repeatedly rejected by Pentagon officials because the project's maker is a regular contributor to his campaigns, reports ABC News.

An experimental plane that is designed to take off straight up and then fly 700 mph has never gotten more than a few feet off the ground and has crashed four times in four years. Useless, you say? Completely. And the Pentagon agrees. Military analysts have consistently rejected the aircraft as technically flawed since 1986.

So why does the plane continue to be funded? Because San Diego-area congressmen, who have tons of defense interests and contractors to represent, consistently create earmarks to keep it alive. The biggest offenders are presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, former chairman and now ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and former congressman Christopher Cox, who is now chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission.

Cox received $18,000 in contributions from the plane's creator, DuPont Aerospace. Hunter has received at least $36,000 from DuPont for his congressional campaigns and current presidential campaign.

There will be a hearing on the plane tomorrow -- you have to love Democratic leadership in Congress; oversight exists! -- and Hunter is expected to testify. Representatives from DuPont will be right there with him, which is fitting because together they've bilked American tax payers for millions.

(Hat tip, POGO blog.)

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