Earmarks: Just a Memory?

Readers may remember a few years ago that in many U.S. House and U.S. Senate campaigns the candidates ran on the promise that they could deliver the most federal money (some called it “pork’) to their state.  Some politicians even took their state ranking high in pork received as an honor.

Although some called it pork, those receiving the funding used it for some worthwhile projects like fitness centers, homes, and dormitories on military installations.  Earmarks were also used for water projects, interpretive centers, and even for roads, bridges, and skate parks.  There was also some misuse of federal funds.

Back in 2006 during the U.S. Senate race in Montana, challenger Jon Tester was even promised a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to help him defeat incumbent Senator Conrad Burns.  Tester won the race and the promise was delivered to Tester by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Congressman Denny Rehberg also gained a seat on the House Appropriations Committee. Continue reading