While many of us have continued to call for a ban on earmarks as a core area of corruption and abuse, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) appears unrepentent — even after years of criticism directed against her for earmarks. In 2009, Clinton has demanded nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks — 300% received by any other senator.
With Don Young and other caught up in criminal and ethical allegations involving earmarks, one would expect decency alone would encourage our leaders to decrease their earmark demands. That appears not to be case as the dinner gong has called members back to the federal trough.
The question is when the public will demand that all appropriations go through the standard public appropriation process. As noted in the Young scandal, here, members use earmarks to generate contributions and grab public funds in power plays in Congress.
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