Monday, December 17, 2007

The Most Ethical Congress in History

Oops. Wrong headline. I meant the most earmarks of any Congress in History. Ace puts it at a neat 10,000 earmarks -- up nearly 400% since last year -- and quotes Robert Novak:

This solution is designed to win bipartisan support because it will contain the earmarks for pork barrel spending back home dearly desired on both sides of the aisle. It became clear a week ago that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was in negotiation with Majority Leader Harry Reid for a bill to finance multiple new earmarks by means of across-the-board reduction in government programs. What's more, a little rules chicanery will hide an estimated 12,000 new earmarks, including pork that previously had not been passed by any chamber and is "airdropped" into the bill. The wily legislators have found a way to get around new ethics rules that require disclosure of all such spending.

And one of the worst offenders?

None other than tired ol' Hillary Clinton, of whom HuffPo says is "landing earmarks for campaign contributions."

At least eight Hillraisers -- Hillary donation bundlers who've achieved the $100,000 level -- are linked directly to her earmarks. One is James Flaws, CFO of Corning Inc. Corning employees have given Clinton nearly a quarter of a million dollars since 1999.

Since taking office in 2001, Clinton has delivered $500 million worth of earmarks that have specifically benefited 59 corporations. About 64% of those corporations provided funds to her campaigns through donations made by employees, executives, board members or lobbyists, a review by the Los Angeles Times shows...

All told, Clinton has earmarked more than $2.3 billion in federal appropriations for projects in her state since her election to the Senate... Clinton does significantly more earmarking than most others with her relatively low level of seniority...

Her record stands in contrast with others in the Senate seeking the presidency, particularly John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). McCain, who has long opposed earmarks, does not write them... Among other Democratic presidential candidates who serve in the Senate, there is a correlation between donations and earmarks for private entities, though none of the contenders have been as consistent as Clinton...

Looks to me like this Congress -- led by the Pork Queen, Hillary Clinton -- may be the most unethical in history.

Update: Commenter Just a dude asserts that the omnibus spending bill gets worse. Much worse: "It has been discovered there is an amendment in the omnibus bill that in effect defunds the border fence or at least makes it where it is no longer required to be built."

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