Clinton Seeks $2.3 Billion in Earmarks

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.

For the full story, click here.

4 thoughts on “Clinton Seeks $2.3 Billion in Earmarks”

  1. Niblet:

    Do you just pick these articles at random to post your non sequiturs or is there a method I haven’t yet deciphered?

  2. MSNBC’s ‘Verdict’ Guest Jonathan Turley says Gore Won Florida in 2000
    By D. S. Hube | April 29, 2008 – 17:27 ET

    On last night’s “Verdict” with Dan Abrams, Dan and guest [Constitutional Law Professor] Jonathan Turley dissected Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. After dissenting with Scalia’s claim that it was Al Gore “who brought it (election 2000) into the Florida courts,” Turley then made the following claim:

    Look, both sides were challenging this question. The funny thing of course is that Al Gore appears to have won Florida. And so, when Justice Scalia says he brought this trouble upon himself, that‘s not exactly fair since he apparently won the state, did not get credit for the state and ultimately lost the presidency over that failure.

    Gore … apparently “won Florida?”

    Not according to a Miami Herald/USA Today study in early 2001. They say George Bush won Florida. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago did a six month study and said the same thing. Ditto the Washington Post. And did I mention the New York Times?

    Granted, some of the studies above do note that in a few certain defined circumstances, Gore could have eeked out the most slender of victories. But these are clearly in the minority. Perhaps most noteworthy is that a recount with the standard the Gore camp desired would have still made Bush the victor. So, on what basis does Turley make his claim? Was it that now-infamous [Democrat-designed] “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach which [supposedly] caused thousands to mistakenly vote for Pat Buchanan? Who knows. Turley doesn’t say.

    Turley gets a bit more leeway later when he states the following:

    Well, it is a serious business. And first of all, I don‘t know of any law professor, I certainly have never talked to one who thought that this decision was handled well. The court fractured, came up with a decision in which many of the justices took a position that seemed wholly at odds with their prior positions, then they insisted that no one should ever cite them for what they just said as precedent and then they prevented any other court from taking any other action.

    While Turley is nebulous by saying “many of the justices,” I think it’s clear he means the conservative bloc on the court — since he then notes that Bush v. Gore shouldn’t be used as precedent (which was what the majority stated). But what Turley (and many others, for that matter) seem to forget is that the liberal bloc of the court also took a position that was ” wholly at odds with their prior positions.” In other words, while the conservatives sided with federal [court] intervention in the Florida matter (against their traditional positions), the liberals favored a states rights position — against their traditional positions.

    Video of Turley’s appearance on “Verdict.”

    (h/t to NB reader Jeff F.)

    —D. S. Hube is an educator and a member of the National Association of Scholars. He blogs regularly at The Colossus of Rhodey.

  3. As we saw just last week, redirecting earmarks or the terms thereof, can also have consequences. Your point is well taken Earmarks just sounds like a word to many of us – but in actuality we’ve placed tremendous fiduciary responsibility in the hands of elected officials thus empowering them to a degree that perpetuates corruption. Then we yell about oversight, yet in the last few years it looked like our oversight was little more than Fredo Corleone at the Casino with Moe Green.

    The engagement of the electorate in forums such as this have been helpful and I think will greatly assist our Country in the next round of reform.

    There is a better argument for public financing of political campaigns. It appears that the corporate media does not share the enthusiasm, since political advertising represents a significant revenue stream and overtures of public financing become contorted as an infringement of ‘Free Speech.’

  4. The problem isn’t in earmarks per se. The problem is money in politics. Frankly, I’d rather have Senators and Congress men and women directing funds than have some Bush-appointed bureaucrat deciding where to spend the money.

    In my opinion, the problem is that the earmarks can create the possibility of a quid pro quo for donations. If we could figure a fair way to limit campaign donations, the earmarks thing would go away as a problem. It would just become politicians doing their job; directing funds to projects required. Also, we should have very little tolerance for politicians benefiting in any material way from earmarks (any earmarks, including other members earmarks).

    Just my 2 cents.

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