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cabernetluver
03-17-2009, 07:47 PM
I saw this in Talking Points Memo (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/photofeatures/2009/03/just-say-no-yes-to-earmarks.php?img=18)and with all the chest thumping, I thought a little hypocrisy watch was worth putting in the forum. It is not the fact that people are putting in earmarks that I am pointing out. It is all of these people who voted against a budget, are proud and proclaim their vote against a budget, are putting in the goodies for themselves.


Senator Bunning when speaking about earmarks said,” Cut ‘em all out.” Then put in $10.6 million in earmarks

Rep Darrell Issa said ,”I am committed to providing the leadership necessary to reduce federal spending to sustainable levels. Until that goal is realized, I will not be participating in the Congressional earmark process.” Then put in for $7.6 million in earmarks.

(This next guy cracks me up with his hypocrisy, his family values seem to be on a par with his governing values)
Senator David Vitter told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he would vote against the omnibus bill because it was just too expensive. “I have strongly supported fundamental spending reform, including complete openness and transparency and significantly lower budget number. As I do that I am proud to stand by my specific funding requests for critical transportation, law enforcement and hurricane recovery needs.” Among Senator Vitter’s 142 earmarks totaling $249.2 million are $95,000 for an expectant mother education and aid program and $6.623 million for subterranean termite research. This in a bill that he said needed to be defeated because it was too expensive.

Senator James Inhofe said, “Each and every time, whether a Republican or Democratic initiative, I have refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions.” He then put in for 73 earmarks totaling $80.2 million including $274,000 for animal waste management and $95,000 for a traffic light.

Senator John Kyl said, “Schumer is wrong if he thinks taxpayers don’t care about billions of dollars of earmarks and pork in the so-called stimulus bill. They do care, because it wastes their money.” He then put in for 10 earmarks totaling $25.8 million including $500,000 for water treatment improvements in the City of Surprise and 9.1 million for a salinity control program at the Colorado River Basin.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said,”The (spending) bill costs far too much for a government that should be watching every dime.” He then put in for 53 earmarks totaling $75.3 million among them are a $1.6 million for forage animal production research laboratory in Lexington, KY and $1.08 million for an animal waste management lab.

Senator Orrin Hatch said, “I wish we would get away from all earmarks and work through the authorizing and appropriations process. He then included 42 earmarks totaling $63.2 million including $380,000 for street-scaping in South Salt Lake City and $475,000 for a parking lot in Provo City.

Senator Mel Martinez said,”…it’s unconscionable Congress won’t end its addiction to earmarks.” Then he added 62 earmarks to the omnibus bill totaling $106.7 million including $600,000 for cow beef operations for water quality and $1 million for the Nova Southeastern University National Coral Reef Institute.

(cubs, this one’s for you)
Senator John Ensign supported a spending freeze in 2009, said that earmarks are a way of buying votes in the senate, and that they weren’t going to buy his vote and then put in 26 earmarks totaling $52.6 million including $807,500 for wind hazard detection equipment and $1.425 million for Nevada statewide bus facilities.

CubsGirl
03-17-2009, 07:50 PM
^See, I was wondering when someone would analyze this, because you had to know people complaining about the earmarks would add some in.

dbroncos78087
03-17-2009, 07:58 PM
Wasnt Vitter the guy for the "No Cost Stimulus"? I believe he has some of the highest numbers up there.

cabernetluver
03-17-2009, 08:33 PM
And then there is Michele Bachman. You remember her. The woman who said,” “Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,”

The Minnesota Independent (http://minnesotaindependent.com/29348/bachmann-says-she-did-take-earmarks-after-all)had this tasty morsal about earmarks.


Just days after saying she had requested zero earmarks for her district, Rep. Michele Bachmann admitted to Fox News’ Brian Wilson that she had indeed requested millions in earmarks in 2008. But, she says, it’s not a big deal because her earmarks were less than the average earmarks for the rest of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.

BACHMANN: Well, the average earmark I think for the state of Minnesota for the members of Congress is somewhere around 70,000– $70 million, so mine is very, very small on that level and that’s in the first two years that was in. After I saw the way that the process worked, after being a freshman, I saw how corrupt it was and took an earmark pledge and that’s why I personally have no earmarks in the current budget bill and the stimulus bill that was passed this year.

Bachmann secured $3,767,600 for her district in 2008.
As Think Progress has pointed out, the average earmark for Minnesota’s delegation is $2.1 million and the average total for earmarks is $33 million. Bachmann’s assertion that it is somewhere near $70 million is an exaggeration.

gcoll
03-17-2009, 09:59 PM
That's why I like Mccain.

Bashes earmarks, and doesn't engage in pork barreled politics.

CubsGirl
03-17-2009, 10:26 PM
That's why I like Mccain.

Bashes earmarks, and doesn't engage in pork barreled politics.
Now if only he could stop saying one of those two words in every other sentence.

McCain is to earmark and pork as PHX is to Fox and spin :p

DodgersFan28
03-18-2009, 02:34 AM
None of this changes the fact that earmarks are not healthy. Since they're a small part of the big picture, it should be easy to eliminate them, and then really focus on the big picture. But instead, they act like a bunch of spoiled children, and we end up being distracted to where nothing is solved.

egoc
03-18-2009, 05:49 AM
really?
is this still topical?
methinks there's something nasty hiding in the OTHER 98% of the budget bill for everyone to keep harping on this 2%.

SmthBluCitrus
03-18-2009, 08:12 AM
Please Stop Talking About Earmarks
Stan Collender

2009 Brings Yet Another Ridiculous Debate Over Earmarks

Is anyone else as bored and frustrated with the ongoing earmark debate as I am? You should be.

Why are earmarks, which are such a small part of the federal budget, always such a large part of the annual budget debate? Compared to all of the much more significant — in terms of economics, philosophy and dollars — budget issues that need to be discussed and decided, earmarks don’t even qualify as a top-10 concern, let alone something that should take up as much time and energy as they have the past few weeks. The seemingly constant fight over earmarks is a total distraction from everything else that needs to be considered and not at all worthy of anyone’s time.

The earmark debate is based on three very large and enduring myths.

First, contrary to what’s constantly either said or hinted at, eliminating an earmark does not result in lower spending. An earmark is nothing more than an agreement on how to allocate part of an appropriation. Cutting the earmark simply eliminates the allocation; the size of the appropriation remains the same.

Second, and also contrary to earmark mythology, cutting an earmark doesn’t mean favored projects won’t be funded. The only thing that’s accomplished when an earmark is removed is that the decision on how to allocate the funds is moved from Congress to a federal department or agency. Not only does that mean the overall spending isn’t reduced, it also means the project could still be funded. The department or agency that receives the funds may decide on its own that a project recommended by a Member of Congress is worthy. Removing the earmark would then have been of no value whatsoever.

Third, as much as earmark opponents would have us believe the opposite, the fact that allocations are made by a department or agency doesn’t mean the decisions will be made according to a strict checklist list of rigid and impartial criteria. As I wrote a little over a year ago, many funding proposals are not objectively comparable and that ultimately adds subjectivity to the decision process. The fact that the decisions are made by departments and agencies that are headed by administration appointees and overseen by Congress virtually guarantees that subjectivity will be a part of the system, no matter who makes the ultimate allocation decision.

Critics frequently say federal spending would be lower if the allocations were eliminated because Members would have less interest in voting for the spending bills. Just the opposite is true. If earmarks are completely eliminated and the allocation decision is moved to an agency, then the only way lawmakers will be able to get funds for their districts or states is by voting for the bill and then pushing the executive branch to see the merits of the specific projects that they want funded. Many more Members could end up voting for an appropriation because no one’s request for funds would yet have been refused.

The leadership or chairmen would then be in a position to say their project could, should and would be funded. Letters would be sent and floor colloquies would take place with Members asking whether a project could be accommodated in the appropriation being considered. Because the answer would always be “yes,” removing earmarks actually could increase the incentive to vote for appropriations.

This is not just theory. The debates on budget resolutions have frequently included communications like this between the Budget chairmen and individual Members of the House and Senate. The rank and file wanted some type of assurance that, even though it didn’t specifically say so, the budget resolution being considered would accommodate the funds they were seeking, or that it wouldn’t preclude the adoption of a certain tax cut that they were championing. The affirmative answer provided the justification that they needed to explain their vote back home.

A budget resolution does not include specific line items or program-by-program details and, therefore, is like an appropriation without earmarks. House Members and Senators often can be persuaded to vote for it because it doesn’t prevent the tax and spending changes that they prefer from being considered, even though the actual changes are never made in the budget resolution itself.

That’s what would happen if earmarks were eliminated from appropriations bills. In effect, every Member who wanted assurance that his or her favored spending or taxing project could be funded would get it. The fight would simply shift to another venue.

If earmark critics are truly interested in lowering overall federal spending, they are focused on the wrong target. Instead, they should be proposing to reduce the amount of overall spending in each appropriation itself.

But if earmark critics are interested in lowering federal spending, they also need to think far more broadly. Instead of earmarks, the focus should be on whether the government should continue to do all of the big things that it is currently doing. Earmarks are such a small part of overall federal spending that even if appropriations were reduced when earmarks were cut, which they are not, the effect on the budget would be barely noticeable.

So, as I said last February, this has to make you wonder why anyone is spending any time on any of this.

Roll Call via Capital Gains and Games (http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/stan-collender/815/please-stop-talking-about-earmarks)

ari1013
03-18-2009, 08:30 AM
It doesn't make me wonder why anyone's spending time on this. The GOP believes they have something that can make Obama look bad. So they're running the hail mary play.

PHX-SOXFAN
03-18-2009, 01:14 PM
It doesn't make me wonder why anyone's spending time on this. The GOP believes they have something that can make Obama look bad. So they're running the hail mary play.

they "believe" they have something. just like they believed they had something with the "socialism" talking point. too bad republican policies and actions are equally as "socialist" and pork-filled.

I have no problem with earmarks. they are usually necessary projects and worth while, with the obvious exceptions of bridges to nowhere, but we all know who pushed and supported that. I have an issue with how the projects are awarded and budgeted. Under the previous administration, davis bacon was waived and projects were awarded without bidding. the projects that are handouts to companies for work are a rip off that need to be bid and have sufficient budgetary oversight. I don't think they need to be eliminated at all.

dbroncos78087
03-18-2009, 01:37 PM
It doesn't make me wonder why anyone's spending time on this. The GOP believes they have something that can make Obama look bad. So they're running the hail mary play.

It works on Madden doesnt it?

ari1013
03-18-2009, 01:39 PM
It works on Madden doesnt it?
As long as your receiver is fast enough.

But the GOP receivers seem to be running around in circles. They can't seem to get that 3rd and long pattern down.

dbroncos78087
03-18-2009, 01:41 PM
As long as your receiver is fast enough.

But the GOP receivers seem to be running around in circles. They can't seem to get that 3rd and long pattern down.

I was worried when i made that reference you wouldnt get it. Im glad to see that worry was unnecessary.

gcoll
03-19-2009, 12:38 AM
To the question "Why do people harp on earmarks when they represent such a small part of the budget"...it is because they are fundamentally unfair.

It is used as a way to buy votes by promising people money for their district. It's a corrupt way to do business, and it should be stopped.

It's the same reason why the AIG bonuses are made a big deal of when they are a tiny percentage of the overall bailout. Because it's a bull **** thing to do.

Cadarn
03-19-2009, 01:11 AM
I heard a simpering child whining today in california about how it's okay to massively increase the defecit because other people did the same thing to a lesser degree.

DodgersFan28
03-19-2009, 02:32 AM
To the question "Why do people harp on earmarks when they represent such a small part of the budget"...it is because they are fundamentally unfair.

It is used as a way to buy votes by promising people money for their district. It's a corrupt way to do business, and it should be stopped.

It's the same reason why the AIG bonuses are made a big deal of when they are a tiny percentage of the overall bailout. Because it's a bull **** thing to do.

Yeah, you've pretty much hit it dead on there. "Because my earmarks are good while yours suck" is not a justification to have earmarks. If the projects really are worthwhile, they'll make it through the legitimate budgetary process.

I don't buy the expediency argument one bit. It's because bills aren't read, and stuff isn't known that leads to things like the AIG bailout bonuses. :rolleyes:

b1e9a8r5s
03-19-2009, 02:41 AM
To the question "Why do people harp on earmarks when they represent such a small part of the budget"...it is because they are fundamentally unfair.

It is used as a way to buy votes by promising people money for their district. It's a corrupt way to do business, and it should be stopped.

It's the same reason why the AIG bonuses are made a big deal of when they are a tiny percentage of the overall bailout. Because it's a bull **** thing to do.

Well said. :clap:

ari1013
03-19-2009, 09:20 AM
gcoll -- I agree with that...

but bear in mind that the same people who are benefiting from that are the ones that you're asking to change that system.

cabernetluver
03-19-2009, 11:02 AM
And the main point of this thread is the hypocrisy of those who are shouting the loudest

DodgersFan28
03-20-2009, 12:59 AM
Really? Seems like to me the loudest shouting is about the AIG bonuses, which are a very itsy-bitsy miniscule part of the bailouts.

cabernetluver
03-20-2009, 09:45 AM
It is not an either/or shout. In this case, this thread was about earmarks, and why they are included. Now if your position is based on the last few days, you are correct, this thread is based on the longer question of earmarks. If you go back to the beginning, I was showing how some of the greatest protesters over the inclusion of earmarks, who were slinging mud, were in fact doing the exact thing that they were protesting.

This thread was about the budget, and the hypocricy of voting against it, because it was to large, while at the same time, adding to the size of it.

FOBolous
03-20-2009, 10:04 AM
It doesn't make me wonder why anyone's spending time on this. The GOP believes they have something that can make Obama look bad. So they're running the hail mary play.


they "believe" they have something. just like they believed they had something with the "socialism" talking point. too bad republican policies and actions are equally as "socialist" and pork-filled.

I have no problem with earmarks. they are usually necessary projects and worth while, with the obvious exceptions of bridges to nowhere, but we all know who pushed and supported that. I have an issue with how the projects are awarded and budgeted. Under the previous administration, davis bacon was waived and projects were awarded without bidding. the projects that are handouts to companies for work are a rip off that need to be bid and have sufficient budgetary oversight. I don't think they need to be eliminated at all.


it's all politics for the GOP. I'm an independent but it's getting harder and harder to side with the Republicans base on what they did during the Bush administration and what they're doing right now.


gcoll -- I agree with that...

but bear in mind that the same people who are benefiting from that are the ones that you're asking to change that system.

also bear in mind that the people gcoll is asking to change the system are the ones that help create this system. much like how people want "small government" and they support the Republican party yet the Republican party is responsible for creating the biggest government in US history.


And the main point of this thread is the hypocrisy of those who are shouting the loudest

exactly. it's so like the Republicans to try to make a big deal out of something in an attempt to distract people from the main issue...in this case, about they hypocrisy of the GOP.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 03:53 PM
Sort of like Obamam now saying that the fundamentals of the economy are sound now that he is president? Or is hypocrisy just a weapon for libbys to bandy about?

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Sort of like Obamam now saying that the fundamentals of the economy are sound now that he is president? Or is hypocrisy just a weapon for libbys to bandy about?

It's a little different when you have a self-described economic novice (John McCain) saying that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong" and Obama's economic adviser, Christina Romer, saying that "of course the fundamentals are sound."

And, then to have FNC relay a clip of Joe Biden quoting John McCain during the campaign and leaving the impression that Joe Biden said just that the day before yesterday is something else entirely.

That said -- Christina Romer shouldn't be let on TV for awhile.

behindmydesk
03-20-2009, 04:03 PM
It's a little different when you have a self-described economic novice (John McCain) saying that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong" and Obama's economic adviser, Christina Romer, saying that "of course the fundamentals are sound."

And, then to have FNC relay a clip of Joe Biden quoting John McCain during the campaign and leaving the impression that Joe Biden said just that the day before yesterday is something else entirely.

That said -- Christina Romer shouldn't be let on TV for awhile.

yea but Obama did say we misjudged the economic crisis. Of course he said that two weeks after his stimulus was passed.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 04:04 PM
No, it isn't. It's what is being peddled by the current administration and runs in direct opposition to their campaign rhetoric. = Hypocrisy -1

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:09 PM
yea but Obama did say we misjudged the economic crisis. Of course he said that two weeks after his stimulus was passed.

They did -- they asked for a stim package that was too small and they filled it with tax cuts. But hey, that's a topic unto itself.

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:13 PM
No, it isn't. It's what is being peddled by the current administration and runs in direct opposition to their campaign rhetoric. = Hypocrisy -1

Hypocrisy exists in politics. That's simple. Pointing out hypocrisy is like pointing out certain colored vehicles on the road.

There's a difference between running for a position and actually owning the position. And, now Obama owns the economy. First he was criticized as being the doom and gloom President because he was discussing the ills, and now he's being criticized for putting a hopeful spin on things.

Another case of "can't win for losing."

behindmydesk
03-20-2009, 04:16 PM
They did -- they asked for a stim package that was too small and they filled it with tax cuts. But hey, that's a topic unto itself.

Huh? That has nothing to do with Obama "misjudging" the economic crisis.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 04:17 PM
Hypocrisy exists in politics. That's simple. Pointing out hypocrisy is like pointing out certain colored vehicles on the road.

There's a difference between running for a position and actually owning the position. And, now Obama owns the economy. First he was criticized as being the doom and gloom President because he was discussing the ills, and now he's being criticized for putting a hopeful spin on things.

Another case of "can't win for losing."

SBC, you are one of the few opposition posters I respect...really. But this is just not close to being palateable. To have a thread started which accuses one side of hypocritical actions, then denying a clear hypocritical instance of the other is pure sewage. Sorry, fail.

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:25 PM
SBC, you are one of the few opposition posters I respect...really. But this is just not close to being palateable. To have a thread started which accuses one side of hypocritical actions, then denying a clear hypocritical instance of the other is pure sewage. Sorry, fail.

Thanks, I appreciate that.

I apologize that I've let you down though. But, there's a distinct difference between campaigning and being elected to assume the role of leader. I'm not saying that it's something that I necessarily agree with, but it's life. Humans, by nature, are hypocritical beings. The president, although we would wish differently at times, is certainly not above hypocrisy.

This is entirely off the general topic at hand -- but tying it back in a bit ... there is certainly hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle.

For Lindsay Graham to stand up (OK, he was sitting) on Meet the Press a couple Sunday's ago and to rail against earmarks, discretionary spending, and pet projects and then to be called out on whatever project he inserted (I don't recall exactly what it was) is certainly blatant hypocrisy. He then said that congress needed to put through a new budget package -- but when asked about his particular earmark, he said he'd put it back in. That's clear.

Obama's (or Obama's team's) isn't necessarily any better. But, he's trying to put a happy face on a dire situation. He got chastised by people on both sides of the aisle for being negative a couple weeks ago, and so he's putting a different spin on it. I mean, it truly is a lose-lose no matter how you look at it.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 04:30 PM
Just call the game even and fair, ref. That's all we're saying. Hypocrisy is a word best left out of politics as it is the very basis for it's existence. To use it against one side clearly invites it's use against the other. That is my point.

For the author of this thread to bandy the word to discredit one side of the political spectrum when ample evidence exists against the other is both irresponsible and ignorant. Par for the course, though.

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:34 PM
Just call the game even and fair, ref. That's all we're saying. Hypocrisy is a word best left out of politics as it is the very basis for it's existence. To use it against one side clearly invites it's use against the other. That is my point.

For the author of this thread to bandy the word to discredit one side of the political spectrum when ample evidence exists against the other is both irresponsible and ignorant. Par for the course, though.

I absolutely agree. Hey, I'll admit that I'm partisan. But, that's my job. I have to make my guy (or gal) look better than the other. I want to get them elected so that I can have a job in the next cycle.

But, when I'm not working (off-campaign season), I'll hold my own party to the line. I do my best to keep my members in check because obstinence does a greater disservice.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 04:36 PM
I absolutely agree. Hey, I'll admit that I'm partisan. But, that's my job. I have to make my guy (or gal) look better than the other. I want to get them elected so that I can have a job in the next cycle.

But, when I'm not working (off-campaign season), I'll hold my own party to the line. I do my best to keep my members in check because obstinence does a greater disservice.

I believe that about you. And it gives me a glimmer of hope for the other side of the aisle.;)

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 04:56 PM
I believe that about you. And it gives me a glimmer of hope for the other side of the aisle.;)

:laugh2:

Glad I can assist in your hope and optimism about the Democratic Party.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 04:58 PM
:laugh2:

Glad I can assist in your hope and optimism about the Democratic Party.

...or that we can at least coexist without torches and pitchforks!

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 05:02 PM
...or that we can at least coexist without torches and pitchforks!

That works too.

Yea, some of my best friends are conservatives. There are a lot of liberals that absolutely piss me off. I will say, my side of the aisle does a lot of *****ing and moaning that is absolutely counter productive.

But, enough about that. Seriously -- I enjoy back and forth with you, glad to have ya back. Stay out of purgatory this time. :D

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 05:10 PM
That works too.

Yea, some of my best friends are conservatives. There are a lot of liberals that absolutely piss me off. I will say, my side of the aisle does a lot of *****ing and moaning that is absolutely counter productive.

But, enough about that. Seriously -- I enjoy back and forth with you, glad to have ya back. Stay out of purgatory this time. :D

There are no guarantees of that in an environment like this. I don't mind...remember the TV show "Beretta"? "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time".

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 05:19 PM
There are no guarantees of that in an environment like this. I don't mind...remember the TV show "Beretta"? "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time".

Baretta predates me a bit. That was the '70s, IIRC. Is that the one that had Pierce Brosnan ... or was that Remington Steele?

I'm not good with those detective-y types of shows. Except Life. I like that one.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 05:22 PM
Baretta predates me a bit. That was the '70s, IIRC. Is that the one that had Pierce Brosnan ... or was that Remington Steele?

I'm not good with those detective-y types of shows. Except Life. I like that one.

Robert Blake. The guy who had his wife (allegedly) murdered outside a restaurant in LA. He was aquitted, I think.

He had a talking cockatoo in the show.

behindmydesk
03-20-2009, 05:23 PM
Robert Blake. The guy who had his wife (allegedly) murdered outside a restaurant in LA. He was aquitted, I think.
Yea OJ allegedly did some bad things too.

SmthBluCitrus
03-20-2009, 05:26 PM
Robert Blake. The guy who had his wife (allegedly) murdered outside a restaurant in LA. He was aquitted, I think.

Ah okay. Yes, I believe he was acquitted. I think I remember the DA calling the jury morons or something.

Uncle Funster
03-20-2009, 05:26 PM
Yea OJ allegedly did some bad things too.

Bingo!

cabernetluver
03-20-2009, 06:49 PM
Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/41332672.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUoaK7D_V_eDc87DUiD 3aPc:_Yyc:aUU)


By KEVIN DIAZ, Star Tribune

Last update: March 17, 2009 - 12:03 AM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, accustomed to playing offense on congressional earmark spending, has been forced to play defense lately.
The Minnesota Republican, an outspoken critic of so-called pork-barrel spending, is embroiled in a blogger-fed television news scrap about nearly $3.8 million in earmarks that went to her Twin Cities suburban district last year.
The controversy, which illustrates the stickiness of the earmark debate, was kindled by Bachmann's assertion on Fox News last week that she had never participated in the process by which members of Congress fund pet projects, usually within their own districts.
"I have not taken earmarks in the last three years that I've been in Congress, because the system is so corrupt," Bachmann told a national television audience.
Bloggers and TV pundits, citing a fact-check by the watchdog website LegiStorm, immediately pounced and called her a hypocrite.
Bachmann was among the sponsors of seven fiscal 2008 earmarks worth over $3.76 million, some of which had been publicized before in the Star Tribune and other publications. Among the most notable spending projects: $803,600 to replace metro buses in St. Cloud; $335,000 for new equipment at the Northland Medical Center; and $94,000 for a sheriff's youth program. The last two were "solo" requests, meaning they had no other congressional sponsors.
After taking a beating in the liberal blogosphere and on MSNBC, Bachmann, a frequent guest on conservative cable television shows, went back on Fox over the weekend to rail against earmarks. But this time, she acknowledged her own record. "I have taken earmarks when I first came in," she said.
She also emphasized that she has taken a "no earmarks" pledge, as has Rep. John Kline, another Minnesota Republican.
Neither of them requested any of the $7.7 billion in earmarks contained in the 2009 spending bill that they criticized President Obama for signing last week. Both, however, acknowledge taking earmarks in the past.
Bachmann's pledge, contained on her congressional website, was made at the end of 2007, her first year in Congress. By that time, the earmarks for the federal government's 2008 budget year were already on the books.