The Obama-Biden pork partnership

posted at 12:10 pm on August 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Post peeks into the sausage-making aspects of Capitol Hill legislating, and discovers that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a longer partnership than first thought.  Obama pursued over $3 million in earmarks for Biden’s son, at the same time that Biden claims he didn’t get personally lobbied by Hunter Biden for his clients.  Obama apparently provided the necessary cover for his wingman:

Sen. Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in congressional earmarks for clients of the lobbyist son of his Democratic running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, records show. Obama succeeded in getting $192,000 for one of the clients, St. Xavier University in suburban Chicago.

Obama’s campaign has taken a hard stance against the world of lobbying in the nation’s capital. Obama said he limits his own efforts to get money for pet projects — a process known as earmarking — to those that benefit the public. He has posted his earmark requests on his presidential campaign Web site to encourage transparency. …

An analysis for The Washington Post by Taxpayers for Common Sense of Hunter Biden’s firm’s lobbying business found that its clients collected $2.7 million in earmarks in the last fiscal year.

Their investment in Hunter Biden’s salary has paid large dividends.  With so many friends among his father’s colleagues, Hunter didn’t need to meet with Dad to score pork for his clients.  It’s a sterling example of how members of Congress offer hypocritical sanctimony on their relations with lobbyists while ensuring that family and friends get their share from the public trough.

One particularly interesting case involves a private Catholic university.  Democrats insist that school vouchers for urban parents would violate the Constitution because the parents might choose to send their children to parochial schools.  However, since Hunter Biden signed St. Xavier University, a four-year, 5,600-student institution run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy in Orland Park, IL as a client, he has managed to secure them over $300,000 in federal grants.  Hunter specifically landed St. Xavier U after telling them he could get them government pork.

This is the kind of activity against which Barack Obama inveighs on the campaign trail.  While in the Senate, though, he enables it through these kind of quid pro quo arrangements that give the appearance that Biden has no conflict of interest.  In contrast, John McCain doesn’t do earmarks at all — not for himself, not for his friends, and not for his political allies.

One candidate talks the talk, and one candidate walks the walk.  The former picked a porker who took almost $7 million from lobbyists and lawyers over the last 20 years, sources which this candidate has demonized for months on the stump.  The latter wants to end the practice altogether and promises a confrontation with both parties in Congress if elected.  Which candidate will actually try to bring change to Washington?


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Comments

This is not patronage, it is money laundering.

Vashta.Nerada on August 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Oink

flyoverland on August 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM

It’s a porknership.

/snort oink

Akzed on August 27, 2008 at 12:14 PM

Really need a reciprocal Pork deal… Biden giving somthing to an Obama supporter…

Then, its conspiricy… and would be a story the MSM could NOT ignore.

Romeo13 on August 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM

This stuff needs to plastered everywhere so Jos Sixpack can understand it in the simplest terms.

Big John on August 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM

That’d be JOE Sixpack…I may have started too early today.

Big John on August 27, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Does Hunter live in the Biden Family Compound? I am still trying to learn how that was paid for.

flyoverland on August 27, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Oh yes, Obamarama and Biden go way back. They even have a friend named Rezko that they share.

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2008/08/wed-post-obama.html#more

BobK on August 27, 2008 at 12:19 PM

“Democrats insist that school vouchers for urban parents would violate the Constitution because the parents might choose to send their children to parochial schools.”

That’s complete nonsense, because military personnel have always been able to use the GI Bill to pay for a college education at Notre Dame, Brigham Young and Liberty University, which just a few among a vast number of higher education which are affiliated with organized religions.

And you can get Pell grants, etc., to any religiously oriented school.

Somehow, state schools have survived.

But the public schools that DEMOCRATS REFUSE TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO, must be protected from vouchers etc.

Why? Because a good number of public schools suck so bad that allowing vouchers would mean they would no longer be necessary and the Democrat Party would lose billions of dollars in teachers union dues.

So Democrats like Barack Obama force Americans to go through life with substandard educations, merely to funnel big bucks to the absolutely worthless Democrat Party.

Barack Obama – amoral, lying, corrupt scum.

NoDonkey on August 27, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Joementum is a dirty pol who has networth of less than 200 grand if you believe him.

While a part of me respects his Joe Kennedy money hiding ability I have to admit the Chuckles Schumer like chutzpah of expecting us to believe that given the obvious wealth he lives in bothers me.

sven10077 on August 27, 2008 at 12:20 PM

This stuff needs to plastered everywhere so Jos Sixpack can understand it in the simplest terms.
Big John on August 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM

But how can we make it plain to Billy Bong?

Akzed on August 27, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Now, now. The article clearly says

Hunter Biden met with the Obama Senate office, not with Senator Obama

so obviously that makes it all right. /sarc

Quisp on August 27, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Will Hunter get the choice spot during Baracky’s speech, fanning the messiah with a giant frond while he speaks to the crowd of adoring mortals?

Lucky guy.

Bishop on August 27, 2008 at 12:33 PM

This is an issue that needs highlighted going forward! If there is one thing that holds this democracy together it is that Americans will not tolerate the kind of corruption that exists in other governments. Corruption will sink Obama. Someone needs to check to correlation with this and the McCain bill Obama first said he would support and then wouldn’t support. The Democrats have no interest in ending pork or corruption.

petunia on August 27, 2008 at 12:34 PM

This should be one of McCain’s biggest issues. He should knock it out of the park.

mad saint jack on August 27, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Ah, more “change”, except that here $300,000 is merely chump change.

rbj on August 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM

NoDonkey on August 27, 2008 at 12:20 PM Brigham Young has limited government money available to go there. In fact I think loans can only be need based. I have sent 3 kids there so far. I don’t know about other places. It may be by preference LDS church encourages not to go into debt and so keeps tuition much lower than other private institutions.

petunia on August 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM

I agree with mad st. jack — that should be McCain’s next ad!

(assuming Mick picks someone as VP who backs that stance and record up, of course)

eucher on August 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Hopenchange meet the new team of “Back Scratching ’08!”

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Ha! I amuse myself.

Barackscratching!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Lots of negativity coming from wapo about their own party. What’s up with that?

sloopy on August 27, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Obama brought his Chicago political values to Washington D.C., just like he promised. What’s the problem?

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 12:42 PM

NoDonkey on August 27, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Appreciate the insight. We can all learn from each other. Maybe The Boss should send Obama and Biden a couple of Hot Air user names.

Mr_Magoo on August 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Not shocked, shocked! at all by the story.

What is shocking, shocking! is that it is in the Washington Post.

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM

In contrast, John McCain doesn’t do earmarks at all — not for himself, not for his friends, and not for his political allies.

I live in Arizona. I have never received any pork (or sausage) from my Senator – John McCain.

Mr_Magoo on August 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM

McCain’s camp should make an ad that starts off talking about pork spending being out of control. Next, show a clip of Father Phleger and the ammount of pork Obama gave him. Follow that with a clip of Rev. Wright and the ammount of pork Obama gave him. Finish it off with the line ‘John’s McCain’s got a lifetime of experience and has never give a dime of pork to anyone’.

Money.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

McCain provides plenty of jerky.

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

You know, I always wondered who those guys were in the endzone at Redskin games…. now I know. Sheesh, I always thought it was a gimmick. Now I know it’s a real “bidness”. What a couple of losers. Somehow, Murtha’s got to have some action here, too much pork. McCain should be able to skewer these oinkers with relative ease.

HomeoftheBrave on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

McCain provides plenty of jerky.

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Does he? I’d always heard he didn’t dish out pork, though I admit I haven’t researched the topic. Do you have some links?

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

This is so tempting-I’ve already done waaaay tooo much political blogging this season, and am taking a few days off from posting politics…but this is tempting.

“Congress has an IPO!”
“If you want to separate lobbyist barnacles from the good ship Washington DC…now is your chance to own stock in your government!
Senators and Representatives are a commodity too long held back from the people. With this IPO,YOU can have a part in the American Dream!
Senators would be Preferred Stock, Representatives Common.
If you buy stock early in an up and comer who shows great potential, as in a first term Senator who has impressed the Board of Trade (Washington DC insiders), you can watch over the years as your investment matures.
Buy low, sell high!
If a Senator in your portfolio is caught in a scandal, you may want to sell, but it might be wiser to hold, as prices which go lower may rise again. Who wouldn’t have wanted to buy in on a Ted Kennedy after Chappaquiddick? That stock, nearly worthless then, is now priced so high that most investors can afford only a few shares.
A Representative may seem undervalued, as there are a lot of common shares out there, but there are a few gems to be plucked by a savvy investor. If you get in early on one who matures into a Senator, or even…dare we say it…a President, well, there vested value for you.
Past performance is not predictive of future results.”

Doug on August 27, 2008 at 1:06 PM

McCain’s camp should make an ad that starts off talking about pork spending being out of control. Next, show a clip of Father Phleger and the ammount of pork Obama gave him. Follow that with a clip of Rev. Wright and the ammount of pork Obama gave him. Finish it off with the line ‘John’s McCain’s got a lifetime of experience and has never give a dime of pork to anyone’.

Money.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Impossible, that ad is like 8 minutes long. It could never run.

LastRick on August 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM

LastRick on August 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Why? 8 seconds intro saying saying Washington’s got a pork problem, 5 seconds of Phleger shouting he’s white and entitled, 8 seconds of Wright say G Damn America (with the ammount of money Obama gave to each of them written on the screen), 5 seconds for McCain to say he doesn’t give pork to anyone. I think it could work.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:15 PM

The Messiah has been porking Biden’s son.Squeal!

Reminds me of the movie Deliverance.

txdoc on August 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Oh yes, Obamarama and Biden go way back. They even have a friend named Rezko that they share.

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2008/08/wed-post-obama.html#more

BobK on August 27, 2008 at 12:19 PM

It’s the ciiiiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiiiiife….

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on August 27, 2008 at 1:27 PM

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

jerk·y (jûr’kē) pronunciation
adj., -i·er, -i·est.

1. Characterized by jerks or jerking: a jerky train ride.
2. Slang. Foolish; silly: jerky ideas about saving money.

(American Heritage Dictionary)

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Obama is also responsible for $10 million going to the University of Arizona to launch an academic center honoring the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Wasn’t that big of him to take the heat for McCain’s pork earmark? I think so. What a great guy.

Dave Rywall on August 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

“McCain pushed for, and got, $14.3 million for Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base inserted into the just-completed fiscal 2004 military construction appropriations conference report.”

Let me translate that for you: OINK OINK OINK

Dave Rywall on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Thanks for the clarification.

Dave Rywall on August 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Yea, that’s swell. With the open registration you might have a few like-minded people hanging out around here through the election. Let’s hope they’re as civil and intelligent as you (I mean that seriously).

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Take more money from the productive producers, and give it to the professional victim trough sloppers.

Paying people to be useless stupid deadbeats, and making them believe they disserve their free checks. Thats the democrat way.

saiga on August 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM

I’m not sure a military construction spending project in a military construction bill counts as pork.

I am curious, though, if you have any examples of him dishing pork to his friends like most politicians. It seems to be common knowledge that he doesn’t, but as I wrote above I haven’t investigated it on my own.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:38 PM

petunia,

From my experience, I attended Saint Louis University (Jesuit Catholic) using the GI Bill. The only criteria the feds used for that, was that the university was accredited.

Of course that money comes with strings and schools can choose not to accept that money, but it’s not the govt deciding not to provide funds to attend a school with a religious affiliation, it’s up to the school.

NoDonkey on August 27, 2008 at 1:42 PM

BadgerHawk – there are shenanigans with the Loeffler Group’s lobbying on behalf of some cities in Texas and some delicious pork coming back to those cities. Tom Loeffler is McCain’s chief fundraising strategist.

My only point is: ALL of them bring the pork home to their constituents. So to whine about Obama and Biden without whining about all the Republicans and all the other Democrat porkers is really stupid and a hypocritical double standard.

Next.

Dave Rywall on August 27, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Thanks.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 1:50 PM

O! and Joe…

DOIN’ IT CHICAGO STYLE !!!

RocketmanBob on August 27, 2008 at 2:07 PM

I hate it when they call corruption and outright theft “pork”!!!

This is the same excuserati tactic which labels invaders “illegal immigrants”.

landlines on August 27, 2008 at 3:46 PM

My only point is: ALL of them bring the pork home to their constituents. So to whine about Obama and Biden without whining about all the Republicans and all the other Democrat porkers is really stupid and a hypocritical double standard.

Next.

Dave Rywall on August 27, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Drywall, are you a paid hack for the DNC or just a nitwit?

txdoc on August 27, 2008 at 4:16 PM