Earmark smearmark, where is the will to forbid them? Not in Washington DC that’s for sure. Washington’s fix regarding earmarks works as good as their answer to campaign financing. It still goes on but it now has a different name, “congressionally directed spending.” Take Rahm Emanuel for example. He is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and has been a major proponent of making earmarks in spending bills more transparent. Rahm speaks with forked tongue.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel was extremely proud when the House passed a major spending bill early this year that contained not a single special-interest project. “This is an earmark-free bill,” the Illinois Democrat jubilantly declared on Feb. 1.
A week later, however, he and 18 other Illinois lawmakers signed a letter to the Energy Department to “express our strong support” for a bio-energy project at the University of Illinois. Emanuel also sent his own letter to the department seeking “support and assistance in securing” $500,000 for Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and $750,000 for the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Such requests for specific institutions are commonly known as earmarks. But Emanuel, a member of the Democratic House leadership, declines to call them that. “Letter-writing is not an earmark,” he said in an interview.
What perfect Clinton-speak. Letter-writing for earmarks is not an earmark. That and, it depends on what the definition of is is. Pelosi and Reid are doing a bang-up job on their ethics reform campaign, beginning with William (Dollar Bill) Jefferson (D-LA). And it goes downhill from there.
Washington Post link: Pet Projects’ Veil Is Only Partly Lifted