Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How $7,000 in political contributions will get you a $1 million earmark

Via What's in your wallet? on
What's a paltry one million dollars to a member of Congress?

Well, apparently not enough to know if an organization about to receive that big block of cash actually exists.

Republican Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, the fiscal crusader who's never met an earmark he likes, questioned Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana on the House floor Tuesday about whether the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure actually exists - since, hey, it's getting like a million bucks or something.

Visclosky, who chairs the spending subcommittee responsible for the project, had to admit that, well, he didn't have a clue.

After a lengthy back-and-forth, Flake, complaining that his staff couldn't find a website for the center, asked Visclosky, "Does the center currently exist?"

"At this time, I do not know," the Indiana Democrat replied. "But if it does not exist, the monies could not go to it."

And who could possibly be the sponsor of such an earmark? Yes, you guessed it, the man Republicans love to hate, Pennsylvania Democrat John P. Murtha.

Despite the money's uncertain destination, the House rejected Flake's measure to strike the funds, 326-98. And the Visclosky bill also sailed through, 312-112.

As I said, what's one million dollars to a member of Congress?

UPDATE: I failed to report last night that a certificate filed with the requested funds says the money is actually earmarked to Concurrent Technologies Corporation, a nonprofit technological consulting firm. A brief search of campaign finance records shows CTC President and CEO Daniel R. DeVos, of alternately Central City and Johnstown, Pa. has contributed $7,000 to Murtha's reelection campaign since April 2002.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mario, thanks for shinning a light on this type of corruption. Regardless of which political party member sponsors this kind of raid on the financial future of the generations to come, both parties must accept the responsibility. President Bush told us years ago that any nation which harbors a terrorist and provides a safe haven and comfort is itself a terrorist nation. We can paraphrase the same – any Congressman/woman who fails to vote against and expose this egregious spending is just as guilty as those who sponsored it in the first place.

Please keep the bright light on this kind of uncontrolled and unjustified spending.

Bill Pierce

July 18, 2007 at 9:44 PM  

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