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Clinton Dealt a Bummer on Woodstock Museum


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Senate colleague Chuck Schumer thought they had safely placed a $1 million earmark for an upstate New York Woodstock Museum in a health and education appropriations bill-- but then the GOP pork patrol caught wind of it, and now the party's over.

Democrats today failed on a 42-52 vote to stop an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to cut the funding. Coburn's effort is now almost certain to succeed. Three of the six senators who missed the vote: Clinton's Senate Democratic rivals, Barack Obama (Ill.), Joe Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.).

Almost as a taunt to Clinton, who is heavily courting female voters, Coburn proposed shifting the money to"additional care for pregnant women, mothers, and infants." The Democrat is spotlighting women's issues on the campaign trail this week, including proposing new legislation to establish a paid family leave program.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), an avid pork foe, calledthe Woodstock earmark "a shining example of what's wrong with Washington on pork-barrel, out-of-control spending."

The museum, located in Bethel, New York on the site of the 1969 music festival, is the brainchild of billionaire Alan Gerry, a Republican who has donated heavily to both Clinton and to Senate Democratic coffers, which Schumer oversees.

In a press release in June, after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill, Clinton said the funding would help the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, as the museum is officially known, to "continue to promote education, the arts, culture and tourism in the region."

The Clinton release never referred to "Woodstock," but described the facility's focus as "the post-WWII period and cultural, political, social, and significant historic events during this period including, in particular, the period of the 1960's and its continuing legacy."

-- Shailagh Murray

By Post Editor  |  October 18, 2007; 11:45 PM ET
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