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Alaska projects on senator's list of wastefulness

Posted: December 18, 2013 - 1:01am

JUNEAU — The Denali Commission and proposed Knik Arm bridge in Alaska are among projects nationwide that an Oklahoma senator has singled out as examples of government waste.

Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn ranks the commission, which is a federal agency meant to help address life, safety and infrastructure needs in rural Alaska, at No. 20 among the 100 projects outlined in his so-called “wastebook.”

The Knik Arm bridge project, a proposed span from Anchorage to the nearby Matanuska-Susitna Borough, is No. 40. Coburn labels it as a “bridge to nowhere still going nowhere.”

The list also singles out a $450,000 grant toward a new “environmentally friendly boiler” for the Alaskan Brewing Co., at No. 59.

Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, earlier this year asked the Government Accountability Office to review the Denali Commission’s management, saying she wanted to address any deficiencies and ensure a strong program.

She reiterated her support for the commission’s aims in a statement Tuesday and said she’s interested in reviewing the GAO’s findings once the auditors finish their work.

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