Departing Police Chief Brings Home The Bacon

Porktacular reading material

Just in time for his retirement, our beloved police chief Pat McKinley brought home a $100,000 federal earmark for his new body armor which he designed in a partnership with seasoned police contractor Safariland, a subsidiary of Europe’s largest military contractor. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez congratulated herself for rooting up the money for the high-priced vests as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act.

What could be wrong with this earmark? It’s nothing but free money for the City of Fullerton – an unconditional gift from the federal government, right?

But the earmark qualifies as official government pork according to government watchdogs.

Citizens Against Government Waste have identified 10,160 projects at a cost of $19.6 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2009 that symbolize the most egregious and blatant examples of pork.  All of the items in the Congressional Pig Book Summary meet at least one of these criteria, but most satisfy at least two:

  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
  • Serves only a local or special interest.
Officer Rubio shows off his new vest while demonstrating a choke hold for our unsuspecting photographer.
Officer Rubio shows off his new vest while demonstrating a choke hold for our unsuspecting photographer.

There are two sides to every slab of government pork: on one hand, earmarks return a portion of Fullerton citizens’ federal tax dollars back to the city itself. If Fullerton doesn’t grab it’s share of the pie, the money will merely be assigned to some other bloated project in some other needy town far, far away.

On the flip side, earmarks represent the very worst in fiscal responsibility and big government. Appropriations Committee members arbitrarily pick winners and losers by earmarking funds for specific recipients.  Lobbyists and their congressmen bypass authorizing committees directly for pet projects, creating a giant fiscal free-for-all that undermines the Constitution and makes states and localities increasingly beholden to the federal government. Finally, the federal deficit grows unchecked and our taxes increase via the debasement of our currency.

Pork projects have haunted this nation since our early years, but they have always been reviled by fiscally responsible citizens. Thomas Jefferson considered earmarks “a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress & their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money”. If Jefferson knew about the exponential increase in federal earmarks over the last decade, he would likely rise from his grave to scribe a brand new Declaration of Independence.

In the end, the chiefs’ friends at Safariland are $100,000 richer, our police have new vests that cost twice as much as the old, and most importantly, the fruits of our labor have been lost in a sea of unaccountability.

10 Replies to “Departing Police Chief Brings Home The Bacon”

  1. Here is the rest of the pork that came into Fullerton in 2009 (from the CAGW database):

    • $238,000 California State University, Fullerton, for Center for the Advancement of Teaching and learning in Mathematics and Science (Education: Higher Education) (Education: Higher Education) – Ed Royce
    • $238,000 California State University, Fullerton, for the Vietnamese language and culture program, including purchase of equipment (Education: Higher Education) – Ed Royce
    • $190,000 California State University-Fullerton, CA. for programs aimed at preventing obesity and promoting health in children (HHS – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – Loretta Sanchez
    • $142,500 City of Fullerton for renovation and construction of facilities for a Boys and Girls Club (Economic Development Initiative) – Loretta Sanchez
  2. Thanks for this post travis. I heard many complaints that McKinnley was spending too much time on his stupid vest and not enough time administering his department. The rampant crime and misbehavior of downtown restaurant owner converting their places into illegal dance clubs is one example.

    And now he gets rewarded. How much is enough for these people.

  3. Fullerton Police Department…..Known to the “outside” world as the department that dared to fart on a woman who was thought by the Police, (I mean the protectors of us all!) to be a non responsive coma patient.

    Fullerton Police Department…….Leading the way to show us what “combat” vests should look like on an American “Small Town”……… your right chief you never know when the insurgents might rise up to actually enjoy a day at the park….. better have your officers “protected” at all costs…. even if they look like military combatants straight out of Falujah……

    Fullerton Police Department…… Too scared to patrol the streets with merely a smile and a handshake….no we must use cameras to “ensure the safety of every citizen” …….right…..

    Fullerton Police Department……. Known to have an interdepartmental squabble with Brea Police department because they dared to arrest a drunk……OFFICER who was driving his car……….Oh snap what if that happened this week near the time of another tragic DUI accident rather than years ago…….

    Fullerton Police Department…..keeping our schools safe from themselves… practicing tactical assaults on a school, and it’s children using……”unloaded” weapons, (Just curious HOW the students knew they were unloaded….I mean with the track record of Fullerton Police Department who knows maybe one of the officers could have been drunk on the job and farting at students?!

    City of Fullerton YOU are now safe…..because the Fullerton Police Department is wearing a “bullet resistant” vest. How do YOU feel knowing that the military….err I mean the police are going to cite you for that crazy unsafe lane violation you had while not using your blinker…….

    City of Fullerton….just remember the perception of the Police is that YOU the citizens are SO unsafe that they must use this OUTER ARMOR in order to display their superior “training tactics” so that YOU will COMPLY with all of THEIR ORDERS……..

  4. government waste is revolting. we need a tax revolt. fullerton has the distinction of being one of the first towns to stage a tea party tax party. sane citizens of fullerton are the face of a new political future

  5. I support providing our cops with safety gear and if we can do that with federal money, then that’s one more thing we don’t have to fund. Damn, people, I understand the label as ‘pork’, but it’s safety equipment, not a study in bear DNA.

  6. Good point Jack, but nobody is suggesting that we deny our cops the appropriate safety gear. This is about who’s recommending the purchase and who’s getting paid. There are dozens of body armor manufacturers out there and hundreds of different styles and models. Using some sort of black magic, someone determined that the best gear just happened to be designed by our own chief and it costs twice as much as normal gear. It’s hard to deny that this one smells funny.

  7. All of you jack wagons that have negative things to say about the police wearing load bearing vests are not too smart. The bottom line (that most of you cop haters probably can care less to hear) is that those vests take the stress off the officers waist and lower back, potentially saving the City millions of dollars in workers comp claims, time away from work, etc. Secondly, what is with all the military angst? Policing has evolved, training has evolved, and so have uniforms. Get over it wimps. Do the police scare you so much that if they wear a load bearing vest, you will all pee in your pants? Yes, police want you to do what they say; not because they have a chip on their shoulder, but becasue they represent the law. Something you should all be obeying in the first place. I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears because most of the people on this page hate cops…until they call 911 begging for them to show up when a criminal breaks into their car and steals their Ipad.

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