Update: The Sunlight Foundation issued a correction to its analysis. They said that calculation errors overstated the earmark dollars requested by “a factor of ten,” which means that the earmarks would have totaled more in the range of $470 million. That’s still a huge amount of money, and while Sunlight’s correct in saying that one cannot show an overt quid pro quo relationship between these requests and their eventual vote on the bill, one has to understand that Democratic leadership would have not looked kindly on them had the coalition stuck to its guns and torpedoed ObamaCare. Voters can suss that out for themselves.
Original post follows …
Kathleen Parker turned Bart Stupak’s surname into a verb that means “backstabbed,” but perhaps she should have coined the term “Stuporked” instead. The Sunlight Foundation reviewed the earmark requests made by the “Stupak 11” that had proclaimed themselves opposed to ObamaCare over the abortion language in the Senate version, only to flip at the last minute for a meaningless executive order from Barack Obama. In an amazing coincidence, the eleven submitted requests to Democratic leadership for almost five billion dollars in pork after voting for ObamaCare:
A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the “Stupak 11” released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion–an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.
Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money this week than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio. …
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
In fact, Stupak’s requests violate a new ban on certain types of earmarks:
Despite a newly enacted ban on earmarks to for-profit firms, Stupak requested a total of $52 million for companies in his district out of the $65.9 million he requested from the Defense Appropriations bill.
In the Nancy Pelosi Congress, money talks and BS walks. I had expected Stupak to fold eventually, but the crass payoffs involved should follow each of these Representatives far into their retirements — which hopefully will come in November.