Critics slam U.S. funds for Kennedy site

April 18, 2010 at 11:46 AM

BOSTON, April 18 (UPI) -- Critics are blasting the use of millions in public funds to build a memorial to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in the Dorchester area of Boston.

The Boston Herald said the amount of taxpayer funds used for the memorial, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library has swollen to $38 million and could hit $68 million this year. Almost $30 million was diverted from the defense budget, the newspaper reported.

Sen. John F. Kerry and Rep. Edward J. Markey, both D-Mass, in recent days have introduced legislation for $30 million more in the next budget, the newspaper said.

"If the Kennedy family wants to honor the family they should find a way to fund it themselves," David E. Williams of public watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste, told the Herald. "They should be looking for private funding. They're using federal taxpayers as the funder of first resort. We need to be the funder of last resort."

Markey and Kerry defended the growing cost, saying it could draw tourists to the Boston, but declined to respond to criticism of earmarks for the center.

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