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Byrd name may hit end of the road in W.Va.

Feb. 19, 2005 at 4:21 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Four members of the West Virginia Legislature have proposed a moratorium on the naming of highways and other things for Democrat U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd.

A bill currently before West Virginia House would prohibit the naming of any government-owned facility for a living elected official, the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail reported.

"This is not to attack a political party; it's not retribution," GOP Del. Linda Sumner, one of the four co-sponsors said. "I think it's a good bill, especially at this time when we're talking about ethics."

First elected 1952, Byrd has brought billions home in federal pork and has been rewarded by having his name attached to perhaps hundreds of buildings, highways and other programs and construction projects, more than the total number of things named for Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV., D-W.VA., and former GOP governors Cecil Underwood and Arch Moore combined.

It is not clear if the legislation can pass the Legislature which, in 2001, designated Byrd as "West Virginian of the 20th Century." But that does not detract Sumner from her cause. "Personal gain is personal gain," she said.

"What they're doing is using taxpayer money to construct buildings and bridges," Sumner said. "That is constant campaigning at taxpayers' expense" and it is wrong, she added.

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