I have been having so much fun arguing with my readers about Geraldine Ferraro that I just could not resist stirring up another fight. I just read a piece inThe Huffington Post about Barak Obama’s earmark requests, as a Senator, in the 2005 and 06 budgets. He asked for funding for:
1. a high-explosive technology program for the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle
2. renovation of a space center at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
3. a project (not described in the Huffington Post piece) at Chicago State University
4. a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals
In each case people that he knows, in the case of the hospital pavilion it was his wife, Michelle, were involved in the projects for which funding was requested. Some of them were campaign contributors. So what? As a Senator Obama is expected to bring some Federal money to his state to fund important projects. He also knows a lot of people who wear suits to work and have the scratch to contribute to his campaign. Those are the very kind of people who are involved in making things like space centers and hospital “pavilions” happen.
Earmarks are simply budget items requested by a Congressperson or a Senator, most often they are for projects within their own districts. It is part of a legislator’s job to bring home the bacon. As long as earmarks are presented openly and legislators are held responsible for their requests why not?