Mule Museum Gets Bad Press

With the national news coverage mocking a plan for a mule museum in Bishop, the man behind the plan, Bob Tanner, is not discouraged.

A CNN story about congressional pork barrel spending recently focused on Congressman Buck McKeons $50,000 earmark to help get a mule museum off the ground.

As the CNN camera shot pulls back to reveal Main Street in Bishop, the voice-over states that the proposed $50,000 for a Mule Museum in Bishop has federal tax payers turned into jackasses. After miniscule sound bites from Mule Days founder Bob Tanner, the two CNN suits, Drew Griffin and TJ Holmes, appear flabbergasted at the perceived government waste.

The CNN stories take on the congressional practice known as earmarking, where legislators attach pet spending projects on to larger bills.

Congressman Buck McKeon says that CNN aired an egregious story to apparently highlight wasteful spending and earmark reform in Congress, but instead opted to make fun of a local community project for a museum in my district.

When we spoke to Bob Tanner, he wasnt fazed by the negative coverage. He explained that legislative earmarks, are a controversial subject, but that not all things that need federal help are bad. We got caught up in a bigger picture, he says.

Tanner reports that the mule museum seed money is tied to a much larger Housing and Urban Development spending bill. If the $50,000 does comes through, he says the money will be used to hire an architect to draw a site plan for the proposed museum. The money would be seed money, with the rest of the museum expenses filled in by private donations. Tanner says that he wont seek donations until he has something concrete to show them.

We made Mule Days something, we can make this thing something, Tanner says.

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