Regular readers of this blog know I’m not a big fan of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Republican In Name Only who purports to represent the interests of the 8th Congressional District in southern Missouri. Those same readers won’t be surprised to find me sharing an excerpt from a Citizen’s Against Government Waste news release that mentions the former lobbyist-turned congressman as one of the nation’s worst “porkers” :
Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) issued a statement calling for all members of Congress to stand firm on the earmark moratorium currently in place.
CCAGW’s reaction came in response to a March 15, 2011 Roll Call article which described House members of both parties as “starting to push for a re-examination of the Republican-imposed earmark ban,” and “concerned that the ban will be enforced too broadly.” CCAGW has been fighting for an earmark ban since 1989 and strongly supports the current moratorium.
“If anything, members of Congress should be concerned that this moratorium will be enforced too narrowly,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “We are much more worried that the practice of funneling pork to specific districts will continue in various forms despite the earmark ban than we are that its enforcement will be too widespread. We suspect that there are very few taxpayers losing sleep over the prospect that Congress will find it too difficult to spend other people’s money.
The article quoted Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), who described earmarks as a way to “level the playing field” for districts like hers with communities that “don’t have the ability to do competitive grants.” Contrary to Rep. Emerson’s assertion, a 2009 Harvard study found that earmarking actually costs districts private-sector jobs and damages their economies. In truth, earmarking actually is a jobs boon to one particular industry: the lobbyists in Washington who get paid millions to chase these special interest pork projects on behalf of their clients. According to Citizens Against Government Waste’s Pig Book, Rep. Emerson was responsible for 38 earmarks worth a total of $30.1 million in 2010. She ranked 167th out of 178 House Republicans in CCAGW’s 2009 Congressional Ratings.
Attention, voters in the 8th Congressional District:
2012 is just around the corner.
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