Well, guess what, my conservative friends? A strong advocate of this program was Conrad Burns, a 3-term Republican senator from Montana. Conrad Burns is now McCain's campaign chairman in Montana.
As it turns out, the project may actually reduce federal spending in the long run. You see, the project was actually about counting bears in the state. And the researchers discovered that there are far more bears than expected. That suggests that three decades of conservation efforts, costing tens of millions of dollars, have paid off. If they become delisted as an endangered species, it would bring an end to decades of federal oversight.
Having learned all of this, I wonder why McCain jokes about it in his stump speeches? Could it be that he's just paying lip service to fiscal conservatives, thinking that nobody will look far enough into the issue? Hmmm... just like that Gas Tax Holiday idea was lip service to those angry about $4 a gallon gasoline?
Am I seeing a pattern here?