In this editorial, the St. Cloud appears to pose the question of whether Michele Bachmann is pro-earmark. They suggest that she’s starting to sound like a corrupt, old-fashioned politician:

Wait. Hold onto your saucer. Upon discovering her district has some transportation needs, she now says she wants to “redefine” congressional earmarks, something she has advocated against? That sounds disturbingly like an old-fashioned Washington politician.

It’s important that people get an accurate perspective on Michele’s position on earmarks. I published Michele’s position on earmarks in this post:

Like you, the status of the DeSoto Bridge repairs is very important to me. There are few arteries or bridges more vital to the St. Cloud area. Regrettably, it’s critical projects just like this that are shortchanged most by rampant pork barrel spending in Washington.

That’s why I’ve taken a pledge to not take any earmarks this year while working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who are determined to reform the earmarking system. It is our hope to replace a system of backroom backscratching with one in which projects are judged on merit and each of your tax dollars is spent wisely on real priorities.

In my first year in the Congress, I requested local earmarks for my district and was fortunate to secure funding for important local projects, including $803,600 for St. Cloud Metro Bus. I was able to stand confidently by each and every earmark request made, knowing they could stand on their merits withstand public scrutiny. Not all my colleagues could say that. Some sought millions of dollars in funding for golf programs, Christmas tree gift shops and the like.

In other words, Michele’s opposed to the corruption practiced by porkmeisters like the late John Murtha or the vanquished Jim Oberstar. Their type of earmarking was based on buying off votes or helping friends get re-elected, not on the basis of what’s a priority.

Why would Michele support Oberstar- or Murtha-style corruption?

This isn’t news, at least to those who read this blog. I wrote that post in May, 2008. That’s 32 months ago. Had the Times read my post, they would’ve known Michele’s position on earmarks. They wouldn’t have made the mistatement they made.

The TEA Party movement and organizations like the Club for Growth are worried about earmarks, partially for the corruption that’s involved but mostly they’re worried about the air-dropped earmarks that get dropped into a conference report that gets either an up or down vote.

Air-dropped earmarks aren’t debated in committee mark-ups of bills or are rejected in committee because the projects are deemed unworthy. Until recently, the earmarks’ authors weren’t revealed. The system is improving but it’s still far from perfect.

Many of the air-dropped earmarks are put in ahead of requests for DeSoto Bridge-type projects to secure votes for passage. That’s what Michele is fighting against.

The SCTimes editorial board needs to do better research if they’re going to write provocative things about Michele. Why should it be left to me to correct their editorials?

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2 Responses to “Bachmann Suddenly Pro-Earmark?”

  • eric z says:

    Plain and simple.

    A hypocrite.

    Many already knew that, and more will come to see it.

  • Gary Gross says:

    It’s interesting that you say a straightforward explanation is proof of Michele being a hypocrite. Just to be helpful, here’s the definition of hypocrite:

    a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

    Please state specifically what desirable or public approved attitude Michele is faking.

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