MARCH 12, 2009
Nearly one-third of the $126 million that Massachusetts is getting from the recently passed federal spending bill will go to preserve the legacy of the state’s infamous political family.
The Kennedy legacy will be largely funded with U.S. tax dollars thanks to an array of earmarks inserted—and signed into law by President “Change”—into the $410 billion spending package aimed at stimulating the ailing economy.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will the biggest chunk—$22 million—and the new Edward Kennedy Institute for the Senate will get nearly $6 million. Five million will go towards a new gateway for a downtown Boston park system named after Kennedy’s mother, Rose, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will get $143,000 for equipment.
This means that more than one out of every five tax dollars that the state is getting in this bill will go directly to preserve the so-called Kennedy legacy. The family’s most prominent living member, Senate fixture Edward Kennedy, has actually done a great job of contributing to the cause.
Kennedy’s storied political career features several scandals, but none bigger than the despicable death of his mistress (Mary Jo Kopechne) nearly four decades ago. Kennedy recklessly drove off a bridge and into a pond in Chappaquiddick, east of Martha’s Vineyard, and let the 28-year-old Kopechne drown to save himself. Kennedy had been drinking and had an expired license.
He later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crime but only got a slap on the hand, a two-month suspended jail sentence. Many believe he escaped justice, which is why the tragedy at Chappaquiddick has been called the most brilliant cover-up ever achieved in a nation where investigative procedures are well developed.
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