- Ada, Oklahoma


November 2, 2011

Modern-day Tea Pot Dome

Ada —  

It isn’t exactly a second Teapot Dome incident like the one that scandalized the Harding administration in 1922. In fact, it isn’t a teapot that is drawing the modern-day scrutiny of Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn at all, but a coffee pot – or at least a museum in Pennsylvania shaped like a coffee pot.

 In 1922 the U.S. Secretary of the Interior was found guilty of accepting money from those he leased land to in Wyoming, i.e., the Teapot Dome, for the purpose of drilling oil. In Sen. Coburn’s estimation, the manner in which U.S. Transportation Department funds are being expended today also borders on the criminal.

 According to the Associated Press, for evidence of waste Coburn brought up $100,000 of transportation funds reportedly used to renovate a coffee pot shaped snack stand that today serves as a roadside museum in Pennsylvania. But according to the executive director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, the money was raised from private funds.

 Coburn’s defense is the coffee pot museum claims on its website it received federal funding.  According to the AP, other projects Coburn targeted are bogus because they do not qualify under Transportation Department rules, were already turned down, or are still pending approval.

 Nevertheless, Sen. Coburn is on the right track in his battle to safeguard taxpayers against government spending run amok. A case can be made that, even if some of the projects were denied funding, it says something about the process that those asking thought it worth a shot to ask in the first place. 

 Examples include a foundation for riding saddles in Indiana wanting Transportation Department money for a factory to make saddletrees; Toledo, Ohio’s request for $500,000 to renovate a lighthouse; and $16.2 million by the Texas Department of Transportation for money to restore the Battleship Texas.

 These requests have nothing to do with making roads and bridges safer. Even if they were denied or are still pending approval, they represent a kind of smoke beneath which there is undoubtedly fire.


— The Ada News


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tom Yarbrough Guest Columnist Life threatening concerns

    We live in a day when most personal boundaries have collapsed. If we consider all the available electronic connectedness, we could say all boundaries have buckled. While easy connectedness may have some positive merit, if viewed with God principles, many results seem negative because of an emerging fear.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matthew Parham Guest Columnist High-stakes testing is not the answer

    Everyone knows the feeling.  It’s probably pretty early in the morning.  You’ve got your No. 2 pencil in hand, crisply sharpened and ready for action.  Months have been spent agonizing over the importance of the standardized test you are about to take.  I hope you’re ready, because your entire future could be riding on your performance.  But should this be the case?  I don’t think so.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jerry Duncan The roll call of the misfits

     The roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11 is designed to inspire us and give us hope. Comparing our difficulties with theirs gives us some perspective when the problems of life feel overwhelming. There are some pretty terrible and overwhelming struggles described there. 


    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kaylin Cullum Guest Columnist Where the sidewalk ends

    I remember getting the call one night three years ago. One of my best friends had been hit by a car.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear editor

    April 16, 2014

  • Money, Money, Money, Money, Money

    Whenever James Truslow Adams coined the term “the American Dream,” he probably never envisioned the nightmare that it would become. 

    April 11, 2014

  • Lyin' Eyes

    When I was down in Brazil, I went into a shop to practice my Portuguese and buy a Pepsi. 

    April 9, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan How Is Your Adventure Going?

    I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s music, at least, most of it. Before my last trip to Romania, I recorded some favorite tunes from different artists that spoke something I needed for the trip. The words to his song, "The Great Adventure" were perfect for me.


    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Art Lawler Inflexible thought is a growing problem

    You remember the Dixie Chicks, of course. The band that told foreigners how embarrassed we were of President George Bush?


    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who deserves the praise?

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”— Matthew 6:1

    April 4, 2014

AP Video

Do you think Russia President Vladimir Putin will invade Ukraine?

     View Results