Oink! CT's Massive Pork Project

Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays has been awarded the "Water Taxi to Nowhere Award" for his role in securing $1.9 million in federal money for a Pleasure Beach water taxi.

The award comes from "Citizens Against Government Waste," a watchdog group that has just released its "2009 Pig Book."

The book is CAGW's annual list of pork-barrel projects included in the federal budget.

The list details 10,160 projects that collectively cost $19.6 million included in the Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2009.

Connecticut's Pleasure Beach water taxi is one of the big "Oinkers" called out by the group.

In 1996, a fire destroyed a bridge providing access to the beach near Bridgeport and Stratford. 

You can still walk about a mile and access the beach, but because it's virtually inaccessible for emergency vehicles, local officials deemed cottages on Pleasure Beach uninhabitable.

There have been several fires in recent years along the beach, including one this past March that destroyed several cottages.

Some community activists proposed adding a water taxi to make the beach accessible and that's what former Republican Shays secured $1.9 million for.

Shays lost his reelection bid in the 4th District in November to Democrat Jim Himes.

The book also lists $285,000 U.S. Rep Rosa Delauro secured for the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA to refurbish trails, construction and "other site work." 

The "2009 Pig Book" comes out on Tax Day, where "tea parties" are being planned in Connecticut and across the country to protest the federal government's recent bailouts.

Millions of taxpayers were outraged following the $700 billion bank bailout and $787 billion stimulus bill.

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