This was the other great cause of Byrd's career: the earmark. He famously promised to be West Virginia's billion-dollar industry, and he kept his word. That's why there's the Robert C. Byrd Highway, Robert C. Byrd Freeway, Robert C. Byrd Cancer Research Center, Robert C. Byrd Rural Health Center, Robert C. Byrd Federal Building, Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse, Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center, Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing and a few dozen other pork-barrel projects named for the former chairman of the Appropriations Committee. At the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, academics can study how he moved the Bureau of Public Debt to West Virginia — and made sure it remained relevant.
Meanwhile, West Virginia is still America's second poorest state. It should be Vermont with warmer weather; instead, it's Mississippi without a river. Byrd helped turn it into a welfare state, dependent on one man with a pompadour and a gavel.
That's from a remembrance of Byrd titled, "Goodbye to the Old Gasbag" so be sure to click on the link and read the whole thing.