LITTLE DID WE realize how charitable were those 38 public-spirited members of Congress who seek to improve parking at National Airport -- just for themselves, free of charge in their own special lot -- when it comes to pushing their vehicular weight around. In a letter to the editor today, Rep. Philip M. Crane, Republican from Illinois and chief parking point-man for 37 other congressional colleagues, offers a pertinent clarification.
You will be relieved to know that his group's designs on that special parking lot would carry on in the true spirit of VIP favoritism: "The parking privilege would in no way be affected by denying the congressional lot to members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps." You see, the justices and diplomats would still park free -- but in the spaces that the general public tries to use -- and pays for. So stick that one in your sun visor for the next three-hour cruise around the lots in search of a parking space.
And as long as we're into this revising and extending of remarks, we offer a footnote to our last suggestion that all special free lots for members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the diplomatic corps be abolished. It is prompted by a number of public inquiries about exactly whose congressional representatives were among the 38 who stood up in defense of this ridiculous self-awarded privilege by signing the request to the Federal Aviation Administration. As a public service, here is the list of those members of the House who hopped on the bipartsan bandwagon for expansion of an already gross perquisite, as they appear in two columns of signatures:
John J. Duncan; Don Sundquist; Helen Delich Bentley; Carl C. Perkins; James A. Traficant Jr.; Robert J. Lagomarsino; Webb Franklin; Bill Hefner; Guy Vander Jagt; Carroll A. Campbell Jr.; Wyche Fowler Jr.; Robert C. Smith; William D. Ford; George (Buddy) Darden; Robert S. Walker; Guy V. Molinari; George Miller; Bill Frenzel; Dick Schulze; Marty Russo; Cec Heftel; Leon F. Panetta; Norman F. Lent; Dean A. Gallo; Larry E. Craig; David Dreier; William S. Broomfield; Bill Young; E (Kika) de la Garza; Douglas Bereuter; Pat Roberts; Larry Combest; John R. Miller; Bob Livingston; Robert H. Michel; Charles Pashayan Jr.; and Gene Taylor.
There you have it. These are the members of Congress whose idea of improving the wretched condition of National Airport -- for which they are responsible -- is to increase the number of reserved, free parking spaces for themselves.