The much-maligned Sparta Teapot Museum -- a symbol of congressional earmark spending -- is once again in the news.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry released a Web ad (above) earlier this week criticizing rival Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator, as a "porker's best friend" for voting for "a teapot museum in North Carolina."
It's not the first time the Teapot Museum earned scorn. The 2005 federal budget appropriated about $500,000 for construction costs with Republicans Richard Burr and Virginia Foxx pushing for the money. The museum never received the federal money. State lawmakers also approved a $400,000 grant for the museum's construction but the unspent money was returned in 2009. The project landed on a Citizens Against Government Waste report as a top pork project in 2006.
Perry is aiming to weaken Santorum's conservative credentials as they fight for voters in Iowa. The museum closed a year ago amid the economic downturn.