Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Private golf course gets a free drop from state budget


Louisiana is poised to compound an earlier misguided spending decision by putting another half-million dollars into a privately operated golf course on state-owned land near New Orleans.

The state is already on the hook for a $13 million subsidy for the West Bank golf club. And now, buried in the state budget is $500,000 to replace trees knocked over by last year's hurricanes, according to a report in the Times Picayune.

Tournament Players Club benefactor John Alario, a Democratic state representative from Westwego, defends the trees as necessary to show a first-class venue when the Zurich Classic pro tournament is played in April. In the budget, the expenditure is camouflaged as "Forestry Program for the planting of trees and other native plants due to losses sustained from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita." You'll notice "golf course" is not part of the language.

Officials are reported to be uncertain whether FEMA will reimburse the expense. No kidding.

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