POLITICS

Thousands to promote caviar, and other government expenditures

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Jenny Rogers

Sen. Tom Coburn has released "Wastebook 2012," his annual collection of questionable (or at least interesting) expenditures by the federal government. Among our favorites:

$300,000: Amount granted by the USDA to the Fish Processors of Idaho to promote the sale of caviar.

$31,071: Amount spent by the U.S. Forest Service to have Smokey Bear balloons at several balloon festivals.

$25,000: Funds allocated by the USDA to finance the 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen tour. The Watermelon Queen's job is to speak for the Alabama Watermelon Association and to educate the public on "the many benefits of watermelon and all the interesting facts including how to pick the perfect melon," according to the organization's website.

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