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‘Fiscally Responsible’ Hillary Tops In Earmarks

Actual reportage from the Washington Post:

Candidates’ Earmarks Worth Millions

Of Front-Runners, McCain Abstained

By Paul Kane
Thursday, February 14, 2008; A01

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure more than $340 million worth of home-state projects in last year’s spending bills, placing her among the top 10 Senate recipients of what are commonly known as earmarks, according to a new study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.

Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, Clinton supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.

As a campaign issue, earmarks highlight significant differences in the spending philosophies of the top three candidates. Clinton has repeatedly supported earmarks as a way to bring home money for projects, while Obama adheres to a policy of using them only to support public entities.

McCain is using his blanket opposition to earmarked spending as a regular line of attack against Clinton, even running an Internet ad mocking her $1 million request for a museum devoted to the Woodstock music festival. Obama has been criticized for using a 2006 earmark to secure money for the University of Chicago hospital where his wife worked until last year.

The new report, by Taxpayers for Common Sense, is the first to show all the earmarks each lawmaker added to spending bills for an entire fiscal year. It notes the explosive growth of the practice, which amounted to more than $18 billion in fiscal 2008…

The new report showed that Clinton co-sponsored a $1.6 million earmark to fund technology development by a defense contractor and steered $3 million to the Rochester Institute of Technology for a fuel-cell-technology program. Another $1.6 million earmark she supported went to Weidlinger Associates, a New York engineering consulting firm working on shock testing for naval vessels.

Obama, meanwhile, helped steer $3.4 million to the Rock Island Arsenal for a military fire and police building, and was the sole sponsor of a measure seeking $750,000 for an education initiative at Benedictine University in Illinois.

McCain, who has helped lead efforts to strip some earmarks from Senate bills, has not focused on the money headed to his home state…

Clinton stands behind her earmarked projects as a sign of her work for constituents…

Her total is unusually large for someone who does not serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where earmarks are doled out, usually on a members-first basis. Of the 10 largest recipients, Clinton is the only senator not on the committee, the report found

McCain has used his opposition to earmarks to rally conservatives reluctant to support his presidential campaign, regularly criticizing Clinton for such spending.

He attacked her Woodstock museum request, saying at an October GOP debate that he was “tied up” and unable to attend the 1969 music festival — a sly reference to his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “That kind of thing is going to stop when I’m president of the United States of America,” McCain said earlier this month of Clinton’s earmarks.

Her item was rejected in a Senate vote last fall, among the few earmarks that were turned down in a House or Senate vote.

Mind you, Mrs. Clinton, her husband and even her (never pimped) daughter all constantly assure us that she is very fiscally conservative.

Is it possible they are lying to us?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 14th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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