Welcome, Mr. Secretary. Why’d You Come?


Marty Trillhaase, Editorial Page Editor, Lewiston

The Lewiston Tribune 2/4/12

Aside from former Idaho governors who wind up in a presidential administration – Interior Secretaries Cecil D. Andrus or Dirk Kempthorne – Lewiston doesn’t often see a cabinet member stop by.

So Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s visit Wednesday to the Port of Lewiston was a big deal.  The former seven-term House member runs an agency that employs 55,000 people and spends $70 billion.

Thanks, Mr. Secretary, for coming to see us – or at least a selected group of 50 dignitaries and reporters you invited to attend – Wednesday.

Just one question: Why did you come?  No, really.

Supposedly, the visit was timed to highlight a $1.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant allowing the port to expand its container dock.

But that’s old news.  The grant was awarded in June.  Plus, it’s $1.3 million, not $1.3 billion, not even $130 million. Continue reading