Sunday, February 17, 2008

Republican House Leadership Awaits for Leopord's Spots to Change

The justification being offered by the House Republican leadership for appointing Rep. Jo Bonner to the House Appropriations Committee over Jeff Flake is that it takes a porker to reform the porkbarrel system (emphasis added):

Of the candidates who vied for this seat, Bonner was the one the leaders felt would send the best signal regarding earmark reform because he symbolizes the changing views on earmarks within the Republican Conference. Bonner is no stranger to earmarks in the past but he's seen the writing on the wall and has now pledged his complete support to a total moratorium on all earmarks. He's pledged to use his past experience to help leadership enforce the new earmark reform standards House Republicans unilaterally imposed on ourselves following the retreat last month... --Jessica Towhey, Office of Minority Leader John Boehner
Let's put aside for the moment the fact that Bonner recently sponsored or cosponsored 17 earmarks that cost a total of almost $27 million and voted for over $17 million in earmarks for his district and Alabama (database with raw data) doesn't support the "changing views" meme. One would expect that the leadership's new found 'confidence' in Mr. Bonner will lead to him rising to former Congressman Dick Armey's challenge to take the personal earmark pledge which will add his name to the the list of Congressmen who have sworn off earmarks.

  • House Republican Leadership: "What are They Smoking?"
  • Editorial: House GOP shanks an easy kick on earmarks:
    ...Bonner gets high marks for personal integrity and he certainly knows how the Appropriations panel works, having served as chief of staff to Rep. Sonny Callahan, who for many years was a powerful member of the committee. And Bonner has pledged support for the earmarks moratorium being pushed by the House GOP leadership. The problem is that Bonner's voting record, as tabulated by the National Taxpayers Union, puts him among such stellar proponents of earmark politics as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Louisiana's "Dollar Bill" Jefferson. It's all well and good for Bonner to talk about the need for earmark reform, but his voting record and the invitation to earmark applicants on his official web site tell a different story. It might be otherwise if Bonner's appointment were accompanied by a declaration that he will no longer seek earmarks for any purpose, but no such statement was heard...


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