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October 14, 2007

Who Wants An Earmark? [AndrewsDad]

The Seattle Times has a front page article today on a way to make money, lots and lots of money. Send some politicians a couple of grand, get back contracts with the governerment worth millions in which you will make hundreds of thousands of dollars. 100 times your initial investment. It is that simple.

Readers Digest version... local boat building company is not selling any boats until they start contributing to local politicians campaigns. Suddenly, Congress decides they have to have a boat that nobody wants and ends up not being used.

Year after year, the Washington lawmakers did favors for the tiny company, inserting four "earmarks" into different bills to force the Navy and Coast Guard to buy boats they didn't ask for $17.65 million in all. None of the boats was used as Congress intended.

The congressional trio say they were helping Guardian Marine because it had a great product. But each has also received generous campaign donations from the company's three executives, its sole employees: $14,277 to Baird, $15,000 to Murray, and $16,750 to Dicks.


Also high on the amazing list is how brazen they are about doing what they know is not in the best interest of the taxpayers. After multiple $4.5 boats are bought and determined to be of no use, the donations come in again and another boat nobody needs is order by congress.
[Patty] Murray said she might not have pursued the earmark "if we had been able to look forward and know that Sept. 11 was going to happen."

But the bill actually passed three months after Sept. 11. Before the final vote, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attacked Murray's earmark.

"The Coast Guard did not request this vessel, does not need this vessel, nor does this vessel meet the Coast Guard's requirements," he said on the Senate floor. "The Coast Guard's resources are already stretched thin and this will only hamper its ability to meet its new challenges since Sept. 11."

So is this illegality, dishonesty or stupidity? There really is no other choice.


Here is an an online database that lists, by congress member, what earmarks they inserted and campaign contributions that can be tied to earmarks they inserted.

Also, here is a PDF that lists the biggest offenders. Any guess who is at the top of the list? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


John Murtha

Come on, did you really need to click to find out?

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posted by xgenghisx at 08:53 PM

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