Up Next: 1,700 Earmarks
Wednesday, July 12, 2006 :::
Via the Hill comes a bit of insight and a dash of candor on the whopping 1,700 earmarks various congresshumans have tacked on to the Health and Human Services appropriations bill:
Few lawmakers publicly concede the importance of earmarks to their own campaigns, but several acknowledge the benefit of voting to bring federal money home before the midterms.
"I think it's helpful on the campaign trail," said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), whose projects include $600,000 for the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. "It's important, particularly for members in tight races."
And all this time we thought buying voteillegalilegal. Well it is, if the money is given directly to a voter. But give it indirectly, say for a school, a library, a swimming pool, and it's all on the level. Just make sure the press release gets out (after the fact), willya?
Electoral considerations aside, this quote from Ralph Regula is perhaps the most succinct and honest assessment of why earmarks are coming up like dandelions:
"Obviously, members like earmarks," Regula said. "There are a lot of them in our bill.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 7/12/2006