In most of America, "when pigs fly" is still a good way to describe an event that will never happen. In Congress, as it turns out, pigs -- or should I say pork -- is flying all the time. And in tonight's Keeping Them Honest segment, we're uncovering three of the most blatant examples of pork in flight that I have ever seen.
The three airports that serve the metropolitan New York area -- JFK, LaGuardia and Newark -- are among the most congested in the country, with clogged runways and delayed flights and abysmal on-time records for the first half of this year.
I personally spend a lot of time sitting on the runway at LaGuardia. It's always the same. Board the flight, creep out to the runway and listen to the pilot explain that we are number 24 for takeoff and we'll do the best we can to make up some of this time in the air.
It turns out while I was sitting on that runway, Democratic Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts and their Republican colleague, Ted Stevens of Alaska, were focusing on their own congested skies and they've come up with some personal solutions.
For Kennedy and Kerry, the answer to the crowded skies is to replace the control towers at airports that make it easy for them to get to their vacation homes. The Massachusetts duo has inserted $8 million dollars in earmarks into the pending transportation bill to replace the control tower at Barnstable Airport near Hyannis (and the Kennedy Cape Cod Compound) and the control tower at Nantucket Airport (near the island home where Kerry likes to windsurf).
Senator Stevens, currently under investigation for steering federal money and contracts to political and business friends, has a $3.5 million earmark in that same bill to build an airport on an island in the Aleutians where one of his political donors runs a big commercial fishing venture.
I'm sure the senators have very good reasons why we should pay for airports that seem to benefit them and their friends while the rest of us sit on the tarmac at LaGuardia. But after weeks of asking and being turned down for interviews, I think I'll get an answer when pigs actually do fly.
-- By Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent