Thursday, August 02, 2007

Must See TV: Senator Tom Coburn on C-SPAN discusses earmarks

C-SPAN's Washington Journal has yesterday's interview with anti-earmark Senator-in-Chief Tom Coburn. The interview is setup by Susan Crabtree at 00:59:56 who notes Senator Lott's opposition to the ethics reform bill.

Being true-to-form, Senator Coburn is calling for an investigation into earmarks for a defense contractor that employs Senator Ben Nelson's son:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has requested a Pentagon investigation of a defense contractor that he has targeted in recent weeks due to its earmarked funds.

In a letter last week to Defense Department Inspector General Claude Kicklighter, Coburn asked for his office to investigate 21st Century Systems Inc. (21CSI) to determine whether the defense contractor failed “to file legally required paper work” or used “federal funds for prohibited lobbying activities.”...

...As the earmark’s sponsor for 21CSI, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has defended his appropriations request aggressively despite the increasing attention from Coburn and from the media. Nelson has argued that the company’s funding serves vital national security needs.

According to the company’s website, 21CSI has contracts with the Navy and Army to provide military computer software.

Nelson’s support for the earmark led to a recent unfavorable column by Robert Novak that raised questions about the senator’s son, Patrick, who is employed by the company. On a statement posted on his website, the senator called the Novak column “a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”...
Related: Senator Tom Coburn puts the heat on Defense Secretary Gates to detail earmarks


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