Vote Now for the 2016 Pork of the Year!

June 15, 2016 2:30PM

Below are the 4 choices, each selected by a member of the staff, for the dubious honor of 2016 Pork of the Year. For the second consecutive year, we are letting you decide what the worst instance of government waste was this year. The winner will be announced when the full Pork Report is released in Mid-July. The poll and write up for each nominee is listed below.

Vote by clicking on the picture below.

Metro Nashville Arts Commission (nominated by Mark Cunningham)

The Metro Nashville Arts Commission has a history of wasting our money on so-called art around the city (which normally looks more like trash). However, they finally took it too far, and that is why I am nominating them for the Pork of the Year award.

In what has to be one of the most explicit examples of government waste I have ever seen, the Metro Arts Commission spent $350,000 on a weird looking sculpture that “re-creates” the shape of the Cumberland River. Here is the kicker: the sculpture is next to…wait for it…the Cumberland River! So if you are confused, let me clear this up for you. The Metro Arts Commission of Nashville thought that it was a good use of taxpayer money to build a statue of a river for tourists and residents to look at…right next to the actual river itself. Read the full story here.

UT Office for Diversity and Inclusion (nominated by Justin Owen)

In August 2015, the University of Tennessee caused quite a ruckus when its Office for Diversity and Inclusion urged students and faculty to ditch pronouns like he, she, him, and her. Instead, gender neutral pronouns were now preferred, including ze in lieu of he or she, zir instead of him or her, and zirs in place of their.

Just a few months later, the diversity office found itself in hot water when a staffer released a document urging everyone on campus to “[e]nsure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” and to avoid playing radical holiday-themed games such as “Dreidel” and “Secret Santa.”

Following this series of stupefying mishaps, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion won Beacon’s annual Lump of Coal Award in a landslide. Now Tennesseans have a chance to make the office the first ever recipient of a back-to-back Lump of Coal and Pork of the Year title. Read the full story here.

Former Tennessee Veteran’s Receptionist Marilyn Truss (nominated by Hannah Cox)

I nominate Marilyn Truss, the former receptionist of the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Murfreesboro. Not only did she steal almost $9,000 from the home, she also stole prescription drugs from the elderly and disabled veterans. Stealing from taxpayers and especially veterans is a disgusting act, but there has to be an especially hot place waiting for someone who steals medications from those who have served our country. Read her full story here.

The Pre-Kindergarten Program (nominated by Lindsay Boyd)

Tennessee’s investment into the federal Pre-K program is becoming as insane as literally lighting your taxpayer dollars on fire. This sham of a program continues to register in the top tier of budget expenses for the state, yet as every study to date has found – including one by Vanderbilt University – participating kids retain no lasting benefits from the program past the second grade. None. Yet, we spend over $90 million of YOUR money to pay for it. That has to be the most expensive baby-sitting service out there. This isn’t news, either. We exposed this scam in previous Pork Reports, so it’s time we take back our kids and take back our money. Read the full story here.