Is Stimulus Spending Another Pork Barrel?

The AP reports politics-as-usual is influencing how at least some stimulus money is being spent.

A sleepy Montana checkpoint along the Canadian border that sees about three travelers a day will get $15 million under President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan. A government priority list ranked the project as marginal, but two powerful Democratic senators persuaded the administration to make it happen.

Despite Obama's promises that the stimulus plan would be transparent and free of politics, the government is handing out $720 million for border upgrades under a process that is both secretive and susceptible to political influence. This allowed low-priority projects such as the checkpoint in Whitetail, Mont., to skip ahead of more pressing concerns, according to documents revealed to The Associated Press.

This isn't new. As the AP reports, political factors have long influenced spending decisions, even in the homeland security context. The stimulus was supposed to be different, but it looks like more of the same. (HT: Instapundit)