West Slope man sues Sen. Allard | VailDaily.com
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West Slope man sues Sen. Allard

Paul Shockley
Vail CO, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION ” Michael Burke says he was just fed up.

“I have the right not to be taxed $500,000 to have a picture of a fish painted on a 727,” said Burke, a 51-year-old Clifton resident and member of the federal government watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste.

So on Oct. 13, Burke marched down to the Mesa County Justice Center and filed a $1 trillion civil lawsuit against U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, claiming Colorado’s Republican lawmaker has wasted billions in pork barrel dollars while domestic needs and an ill-equipped U.S. military continue to be ignored.

“Michael Burke ” taxpayer” is listed as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which in November was transferred to a federal magistrate in Denver. The lawsuit seeks the “return” of $1 trillion to the U.S. Treasury. While acknowledging his case will likely go “nowhere,” Burke said he hopes to do more than make a point.

“I want (Allard) to sit in front of a jury and tell us why these pet projects are more important than the suffering that’s out there,” Burke said.

Senator Allard’s staff in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday weren’t overly concerned.

“For the first time in a couple months, I’m going to have to say no comment,” said Steve Wymer, Allard spokesman, adding he wasn’t aware of the lawsuit. “I’ve never heard of anything like this going before a judge.”

Burke’s lawsuit alleges the senator has failed to “provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” by signing off on billions in wasteful spending.

The complaint specifically cites Citizens Against Government Waste’s annual “Pig Book” from 1991 to this year ” approving funding for “such things as $56,000 for two ‘pony trekking’ centers, $114,000 for a golf video … $70,000 for the paper industry hall of fame.”

The complaint continues, “On October 2, 2005, an article posted in the Rocky Mountain News quotes Retired Army General McCaffrey …. ‘the Army has about $61 billion in equipment shortages and a $50 billion shortfall in the vital equipment and parts you need to run a war.'”


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