Obama's 2006 Earmarks

Update: The AP says Obama has not responded to repeated requests to release his earmark legislation for six of his eightyears in the Illinois Senate. Yet, he's criticizing Hillary on this score:

While silent about Obama's spending in Illinois, his campaign has criticized Democratic presidential rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for withholding similar information about her years in the U.S. Senate.

Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said Thursday that her position should prompt voters to "ask why she doesn't believe they have the right to know she wants to spend their tax dollars."


Sen. Barack Obama released his list of 2006 legislation with earmarks today. He has the list on his website here.

Among them, an $8 million request for the "High Explosive Air Burst Technology Program." Ultimately, $1.3 million in funding was awarded for the program. [More...]

the defense project was overseen by General Dynamics, one of the nation's largest military contractors. Obama's Illinois finance chairman, James S. Crown, serves on the company's board of directors and his family holds a sizable stake in the company.

Crown and his wife, Paula Crown, are members of Obama's National Finance Committee and have raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign, according to a list of fundraisers posted on Obama's campaign website.

Obama had released his 2007 list earlier, but held back on the 2006 list until today.

The request reads (from his website):

Obama Requested $8 Million And Helped Secure $1.3 Million For The High Explosive Air Burst Technology Program. In 2006, Obama requested $8 million and helped secure $1.3 million for High Explosive Air Burst Technology funding. Through General Dynamics, this project supported the 25mm Bushmaster cannon, the primary weapon on the Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) and the US Marines’ Light Armor Vehicle (LAV). Under contract for System Design and Demonstration (SDD), GD-OTS is developing a Family of Ammunition for the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) to include a High Explosive Air Burst (HEAB) round. This program will upgrade the capability of the current forces BFV and LAV. Additional funding for the 25mm HEAB for the SFV and LAV will ensure this program will run effectively during its planned service until 2051. [House Report 109-676 (109th Congress); Obama Request Letter To The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, 2006]

General Dynamics in 2006 was the largest military contractor in the world.

More on the Crown family's donations to Obama are here and from the New York Times, in an article reprinted on Obama's website, here.

Mr. Crown, whose family's investments include a major stake in the military contractor General Dynamics, said family members normally avoided taking sides in a primary, in part because it was not good for business. But with Mr. Obama, they made an exception, with 10 family members giving a total of $112,500. "I was just so personally impressed with Barack that it was worth the risk," Mr. Crown said.

More on the Crown holdings:

Founded in 1919 as a family-owned building material business, The Henry Crown Companies grew to become one of the nation's largest privately held business organizations and a major force in land development throughout the U.S. The organization's diverse interests range from large-scale office buildings such as Rockefeller Center in New York City, to Aspen Ski Company and the Ojai Resort in Ojai California. Additionally, the Crown family holds significant stock positions and board memberships in General Dynamics, JP Morgan Chase, Sara Lee, and Hilton Hotels, as well as investment holdings in the New York Yankees and Chicago Bulls.

Update: Comments over 200, thread now closed.

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    Okay, let's talk about how (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:14:59 PM EST
    since starting in the US Senate, Hillary has delivered $100 million in earmarks directly benefiting 59 corporations, 65% of which have donated to her campaign.

    Last time I checked, this thread was (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:18:07 PM EST
    about Obama's earmarks...when Hillary releases hers, we'll discuss those too...but by reporting the facts, and discussing them, we are not attacking Obama, and a knee-jerk response to point the finger back at Hillary isn't appropriate.

    I'm just presenting the facts (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:20:21 PM EST
    because if we're talking about Obama's earmarks, it's only fair we talk about Hillary's.

    Oh and I made a typo.
    Since 2001, she's delivered $500 million in earmarks.


    You're spinning (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:24:17 PM EST
    not "just presenting facts"...I think you've made your intent clear enough, so I'll leave it at that.

    Name one thing I said (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:26:36 PM EST
    that isn't a fact.

    The entire concept... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:54:54 PM EST
    ...of what is "fair" is by nature an opinion.

    They are irrelvant (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by kredwyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:55:02 PM EST
    in a thread discussing Obama's earmarks...one of which appears to be in connection to the dreaded Defense Industry where
    Obama's Illinois finance chairman, James S. Crown, serves on ... [General Dynamics's] board of directors and his family holds a sizable stake in the [defense contracting] company.

    False premise... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:54:22 PM EST
    ...I don't recall Clinton ever making a big stink about earmarks.

    Why does Obama get to set the ground rules?  What Clinton does or does not do has no reflection on Obama.


    Dude (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:00:47 PM EST
    Let's make the next leap...Obama wants debates, he releases his earmarks a week or so in advance.  Earmarks get press spin so they are old news by the debate.  Obama attacks Clinton and demands she releases earmarks when/if Rezko get a mention.  Let's count the seconds for how long it takes for him to bring up the Woodstock museum (which will get tourist dollars to a depressed reason, but whatever)

    Frankly, as to earmarks, I think senators work for their state, and they get as much for their state as they can.  NY is the most populous state.  It is an International City.  Clinton has a lot of seniority.  I'm not surprised NY got more earmarks.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by The GrandPanjandrum on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:22:09 PM EST
    NY is the most populous state.
    NY is the third most populous state with a little over 19 million people.

    You are right (none / 0) (#52)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:25:55 PM EST
    I should have said, "one of the most"

    I wonder how CA and TX senators stack up in the earmark dept.


    Ask and ye shall receive (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:31:37 PM EST

    Has an Excel spreadsheet with FY08 earmarks.  State population seems to have little to do with dollar amount.

    For FY08 Clinton has $98,000 solo and $342M with other members.  Meanwhile Thad Cochran of MS has $289M solo and $837M joint.

    Obama has $3.3M solo and $98M joint.


    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:30:28 PM EST
    I could have used that before I copied Obama's data in to a spreadsheet and dinked with it.

    Those are some decent sized pivot tables.  Fun!


    Finestein brings home the bacon (none / 0) (#78)
    by Radix on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:34:06 PM EST
    Don't know if I spelled her name right. shrug
    Actually, jtaylorr's post never mentions which companies received those 500mil from Clinton earmarks. I would assume they would be in NY, but not necessarily so.

    Since NY is a donor state, that is, a state whose people pay more in fed taxes than the fed spends in their state, I would argue she's a little light on the vig. No matter how you look at it, Obama used his earmarks to benefit his state, as he should, as well as himself, he is a politician after all. The fact that he is a Junior Senator with fewer earmarks to give is irrelevant to the fact that he gave all that he could.


    Um So is she (none / 0) (#208)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:51:11 PM EST
    You people who keep mentioning Obama as a "Junior Senator" relaize that this is the case for Hillary as well right?

    LOL (none / 0) (#206)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:49:34 PM EST
    "Clinton has a lot of seniority" What, how does the JR senator have a lot of Seniority?

    I think you are mistaking... (none / 0) (#211)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:56:51 PM EST
    ...the term "junior" is only relevant in comparison to the other Senator for the state.  A "junior" Senator from West Virginia could easily be on a 3rd or 4th term...

    I know this (none / 0) (#215)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:23:10 AM EST
    I know this, I was using it for the same because everyone seems to think its relevant about Obama, but not about Hillary. By the way 1.5 terms, that's not a lot of Seniority (just geussing but it's probably like 30th of so at best among the 50+ Senate Dems

    The opposite (none / 0) (#39)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:12:11 PM EST
    in fact.

    Of course Senator Clinton wouldn't make a lot of (none / 0) (#100)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:13:54 PM EST
    noise about earmarks...she's keeping her's quiet.  I mean if someone wants to hide the earmarks they're getting why would they make a lot of noise about them?

    LOL (none / 0) (#155)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:54:40 PM EST
    A priori logic run amok.  Every action has a sinister motive when your last name is Clinton.

    Every action has a sinister motive.... (none / 0) (#230)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:11:02 AM EST
    when you have an "R" or a "D" after your name, if you ask me.  The sinister motive being money and power for your team and their contributors, America be damned.

    On the bright side, Jesse the Body might throw his hat in the ring...between him, Nader, and Kubby we've got some real choices.  If only the American people have the courage to think outside the crooked two-party box.


    Um, that's hardly a typo. (5.00 / 1) (#222)
    by BrandingIron on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:58:37 AM EST
    You just added more of your facts to your original swingback comment.  A typo is typing "jwrk" when you meant "jerk".

    I think it's fair... (none / 0) (#40)
    by rdandrea on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:14:29 PM EST
    ... since we're talking about earmarks, to ask about Clinton's earmarks.

    please stick to the subject. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:51:21 PM EST
    Will it still be fair to talk about Clinton's (none / 0) (#220)
    by Manuel on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 01:43:47 AM EST
    earmarks when Obama is the nominee?  Not everything has to be about Clinton.

    assuming she actually does (none / 0) (#43)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:19:01 PM EST
    I wouldn't hold my breath

    so you're a mind reader now? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:36:05 PM EST
    or just using an opportunity to demonize Hillary.

    just a well-founded prediction (none / 0) (#83)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:40:25 PM EST
    about a secretive candidate.

    Obama was secretive about Rezko (none / 0) (#227)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:50:46 AM EST
    That's going to happen when? (none / 0) (#204)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:47:45 PM EST
    So the third of never then? Seriously, Hillary could have earmarks depositing cash directly into foriegn accounts and this site wouldn''t report on it (I'm being a bit sarcastic here, BTD would have a post about it, then Jer would rationalize it).

    No Problem there (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:32:57 PM EST
    The problem is Obama pretending he's different.

    Talk about trying to divert the discussion! (none / 0) (#225)
    by splashy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:44:23 AM EST
    This tactic is getting old. It would be nice to stick to the subject.

    We can talk about Clinton in another discussion. I am interested in knowing about this, so we can know what may influence Obama.


    Sure looks like (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by OxyCon on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:15:13 PM EST
    ...a new kinda politics to me!

    Obama is the one promoting (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:18:43 PM EST
    himself as the ethics reform guy , campaign finance reform guy and the anti-war guy.

    Exactly (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Andy08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:16:39 PM EST
    the point of this post. It is and has been Obama the one whose raison d'etre as candidate has been his
    "different kind of politics" (anti-special interests, etc etc etc.)

    What this proves sis that he is just another politician. There would be nothing wrong with it except that his "urgency" of a Presidential run was
    based on "changing Washington" and the "politics as usual"



    Yes He Can! (none / 0) (#92)
    by OxyCon on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:54:27 PM EST
    Do you (none / 0) (#108)
    by Andy08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:18:38 PM EST
    mean that "yes he can" be a hypocrite?  If so I agree!
    (O/T : are you the same OxyCon from NQ?)

    As he should (3.50 / 4) (#48)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:22:22 PM EST
    Because Obama is, in fact, the ethics reform guy and campaign finance reform guy (I'll agree that he's not anti-war, just anti-dumb war). That doesn't mean he is "perfect" or "pure"--far from it. But what it does mean is that he consistently pushes that agenda forward in the political discourse, and has a record of legislative achievement in those areas. This is in contrast to Hillary Clinton, who has never made ethics or good government reform one of her political priorities.

    If you think reform is an important and necessary priority and a prerequisite to real progressive change, as I do, then you ought to be pleased that Obama is at least being more transparent than he needs to be (again, unlike Hillary Clinton). He didn't need to reveal what he spent all his Senate earmarks on. But it's a good thing that he did. Obama has also worked on increasing government transparency while in the Senate, i.e. the bill he passed last year that organized all government spending in a searchable database online. So Obama's reform credentials are in fact real--not perfect, not ideal, but real. It is also one of the few areas where he really has a significant policy difference with Senator Clinton.

    The front page post completely ignores this important and vital context to Obama's release of his earmarks. What it does focus on is one specific earmark that benefited one of his important financial contributers, with a charge of hypocrisy is heavily implied. Of course, the RELEVANT question is not this--the earmark has to benefit somebody. The relevant question is whether the specific earmark was or was not a good one, that is, whether it was a wise or appropriate use of government money or not. If it was, then good on Obama for being an effective legislator. If it was not, then bad on him. I have no opinion on the matter because I have no idea what a "High Explosive Air Burst Technology Program" is. However, it appears Jeralyn does not know either. Shouldn't we investigate a little before throwing around accusations of hypocrisy?

    Now there is a double standard for reformers, and this is fair to some extent. But I think the double standard can go too far. Chris Bowers put this well in a post on Openleft a couple days ago:

    Above all else, there is double standard for reformers. Even the faintest whiff of impropriety by politicians who seek to reform the political, economic, or media institutions in America automatically places that politician into a double-standard. The media even admits this [i.e. when they attack Obama for taking money from people who work at companies who have lobbying arms in Washington while claiming to be reforming the system]. The subtext here is that there is not wrong with accepting lobbyist money, but there is something wrong with no being hermetically sealed from lobbyists if you calim tyou want to reform the system. There have been dozens of articles in the press working to find some sort of hypocrisy in Obama's fundraising and lobbyist money. Nowhere in these articles will you find the obvious point that Obama has taken more steps to separate himself from lobbyists more than some of his opponents in the campaign. The point in these articles isn't that Obama while not perfect, is doing better according to the same standard, but rather that Obama is worse because he should be held to a higher standard [...] Ultimately, reforming our political, media and economic systems is a higher value than being perfectly, internally consistent. Unfortunately, it its attempt to be non-ideological, the media holds a concept like consistency as a far, far higher value than it holds reform. The media takes no position on reform, but does take a position on consistency. This necessarily leads to reformers being held to a higher standards, inevitable flaws being found in anyone, the reformer appearing like a hypocrite, and then reform not taking place. In the end, by valuing consistency above things like reducing the influence of corporate money in the political process, reformers are outed as hypocrites, necessary reforms never take place and the status quo is protected.

    Of course... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:36:12 PM EST
    ...reformers are held to a higher standard.  Would you take credibly a cop who routinely broke the law?    How about a minister who sinned up a storm during the week and told you how to live your life come Sunday?

    The point is that reformers who don't hold themselves to the same standards they endorse are lacking in sincerity.


    To some extent, yes, that is true (none / 0) (#110)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:20:27 PM EST
    Obviously egregious hypocrisy is unacceptable. But in politics you're also never going to find anyone with perfect or pure reformist credentials. Any politician on the national stage is going to be somewhat compromised and hypocritical. Everyone's swimming in the same dirty water to some extent. The question is who is, within that system, trying to clean up the water and making it one of their priorities to clean up the water? In politics the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    I recommend this article in Harpers Magazine, which I think is a fair take on things:

    Barack Obama Inc.


    Typically... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:56:47 PM EST
    ...the real reformers are outside the system.

    I really don't take sincerely the ambitious political climbers and power brokers who purport to be motivated by a desire to 'change the system'


    People who are outside the system (none / 0) (#213)
    by Korha on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:01:58 AM EST
    By definition cannot be elected to office inside the system. Look, outside pressure and agitation is obviously indispensable and necessary to any sort of reform movement. But we also need people who are our allies in positions of power. They're two sides to the same coin.

    Bottom line I think there is a clear difference between the kind of ethics and campaign finance reform policies a President Obama would pursue and a President Clinton would pursue (i.e. Clinton would not pursue those kinds of policies at all, while Obama would put some political capital into them).    


    this comment.... (none / 0) (#71)
    by jor on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:13:00 PM EST
    ... is the perfect response to this "gotcha-like" post.  I eagerly await the other sides response.

    oh please (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:22:01 PM EST
    This is like being sort of pregnant.

    Was she fer it or agin it? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Radix on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:52:16 PM EST
    Did Hillary vote up or down on this measure?

    Yep, he advocates transparency (none / 0) (#46)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:21:48 PM EST
    and acts on it by releasing this information.

    JJE (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Andy08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:30:22 PM EST
    do you really believe what you just wrote? So, I take it you favor special interests, politics as usual, no change; so long as he shows you that is what he is about? Makes no sense.

    What has he been stumping about all these months and months?  What was his message again?

    If that's your definition of transparency, as long a I tell you you'd be ok. with me robing a bank?


    Nobody has shown that the earmark in question (1.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:43:44 PM EST
    was a bad one or a good one. Can you show this? I would appreciate it, because I have no idea what a "High Explosive Air Burst Technology Program" is. Could be good or bad.

    Earmarks are not all created equal. There are good, proper ones and bad, corrupt ones. But the only way we can tell which is which is if our politicians release their list of earmarks so we know what they're spending our tax dollars on.

    Obama has taken this extra step. Clinton has not.


    Tomato (none / 0) (#182)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:14:06 PM EST
    Tomawto... isn't that like saying you'll vote for a staunch Republican if he's up front about his positions?  You'll disagree, but what the heck, he's honest about it.

    He advocates... (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:37:43 PM EST
    ...selective transparency.  Should we compile a list of disclosures he's refused to make?

    sure (none / 0) (#85)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:42:15 PM EST
    we can also compile a list of those Clinton has refused to make.  which list do you think will be longer?

    Ah yes... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:14:47 PM EST
    ...the infamous playground defense... "but but but what about HER!"

    tu quoque (none / 0) (#129)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:36:05 PM EST
    is the whole point of this post.  A bit late in the day to complain about that.

    Not really... (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:01:29 PM EST
    ...clearly it's not good enough for Obama to release his earmarks and feel good about living up to his ethical high ground.  His overarching premise is 'but where are Clinton's??'

    But he is the one that is going (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:25:14 PM EST
    to bring a new politics to Washington.  So we have to judge him by a higher standard.  I mean you can't be saying how sneaky and conniving Clinton is and then say it's ok for him to be like her.

    But Clinton... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Radix on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:09:33 PM EST
    Apparently there are degrees of ethical? He's not as unethical as Hillary, see his list is shorter. Shorter, not nonexistent, there is a difference.  

    Not Anti-War (none / 0) (#73)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:21:58 PM EST
    He never claimed to be anti-war, just anti Iraq war, anti dumb war.

    Jeralyn are you opposed to ethics reform (none / 0) (#102)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:15:18 PM EST
    or you content about secret earmarks.  If yo uare content about secret earmarks could you plausibly give me an explanation why you would favor such a policy?

    Rhetorical Logic 101... (none / 0) (#104)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:16:24 PM EST
    ...today's lesson; the false dichotomy

    Remeber, (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by 0 politico on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:19:52 PM EST
    Chicago.  What is new politics about that?

    How about his (5.00 / 9) (#7)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:24:05 PM EST
    Earmarks that helped out his wife:

    One of Obama's Earmarks Went to Hospital That Employs Michelle Obama

    $1 Million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

    As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama's compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."

    Earmarks are not a bad thing (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:35:31 PM EST
    We need to discard this "political" notion. Earmarks are what help build roads, schools, hospitals, jobs, etc...

    Sure there are examples of STUPID earmarks, and excessive earmarks...but to always discuss earmarks as if they are something poisonous is more than a bit disingenuous...chances are...no no...fact is, as we type on this blog, and use this internet, it is a result of one of Al Gore's earmarks...

    Tell it to Obama... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:41:46 PM EST
    ...you know... the guy who never misses a chance to rail on the evil of 527s, earmarks, lobbyists or whatever his hypocritical stance du jour happens to be...

    Right (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:28:59 PM EST
    There are good earmarks, and bad earmarks. We should applaud our politicians for requesting good earmarks that will benefit the state/country, and hold them accountable for bad earmarks that are corrupt and suspicious. John McCain is just being an ineffective legislator by never requesting earmarks, because it means he's not getting stuff done for his state/country that he could get done.  

    But, how do we tell which earmarks are good or bad when they're all secret? This is why all earmarks should be made public and why all our politicians should release their earmarks to the public--so we can judge for ourselves what they've been doing with them.

    Barack Obama's transparency here is a good thing. I hope Clinton follows.


    Confused (1.00 / 1) (#22)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:54:41 PM EST
    I'm on both sides of this issue.  When the benefit is beyond the state, I might support it.  When it benefits only the state, I think the state needs to manage itself.  I'm looking at genetic mapping.. if that's for cloned beef, I don't approve.  I see soybean subsidies, I don't approve.  I am looking at the list.. it looks like sewage system upgrades.  I don't necessarily think my tax dollars should pay for that.  If it turns out to be a private/wealthier neighborhood, I'm going to be unhappy. We'll see.  I need to look at this more closely.  Looks like just another pol to me.  It's sad, but I bet I would approve of McCain's list.

    Earmarks are necessary (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:59:47 PM EST
    they build infrastructure, create jobs, and build public services...how else do you propose we fund these costs as a nation (we are a nation, not a collection of smaller states and localities).

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:03:17 PM EST
    earmarks are there for a reason.  It's when ego projects get done (bridge to nowhere) that I have a problem with them.

    Of course, living in the south, knowing history (such as one of the root problems the south had with the north pre-Civil War was sending our tax dollars up to build roads in New England while no money was sent back here for our roads), I think that there is a good potential for corruption in the earmark system, and I am glad that we have more transparency now.  Of course, every senator knew the reform was coming, even Obama, so they cleaned up their earmarks real pretty-like in 2005-2006.


    excuse me? (5.00 / 1) (#214)
    by cpinva on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:09:23 AM EST
    what "tax dollars" might you be referring to, since the income tax, as we kind of know it, didn't even come into existence until after the civil war started, in late 1861.

    boy, that's a new rationalization for starting a war over slavery. next you're going to tell me it was all about "stat's raht's" too. that would be, um, uh, the right to own slaves i believe.


    Without earmarks and limitations (none / 0) (#61)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:41:00 PM EST
    George Bush and his cronies would have had a series of huge lum sums of money at their disposal to do with what they wished.  Not that that didn't sort of happen, but Congress is supposed to decide how money is spent - not the Executive Branch.

    If they are that important they (5.00 / 1) (#226)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 05:12:37 AM EST
    should be requested via a bill, not attatched.

    Here, Here (none / 0) (#231)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:53:52 AM EST
    Thank you for saying the obvious.

    One of the problems with earmarks (none / 0) (#35)
    by ding7777 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:05:07 PM EST
    is that the legislators will inflate a budget bill knowing earmarks will be made.

    If they would budget according to what the government actually needs, budget bills would be smaller (that's the theory anyway)


    Earmarks may not be a bad thing but (none / 0) (#68)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:04:03 PM EST
    to determine whether they are a bad or good thing they must be disclosed.  Transparency is at least a requirement for oversight.  Barack Obama has released his earmarks...what possible excuse could Hilary Clinton have for not releasing hers?

    New politics indeed! (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by davnee on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:41:43 PM EST
    Sure Clinton and McCain do the same thing when it comes to pork and payoffs.  But that is the whole point.  Obama's in no position to put on ethical airs.  He's an ordinary, every day pol.  Now if he happens to be the pol you like best or think can do the most for you and your country, then more power to you.  Get thee to the polls.  But don't pretend he's worthy of the presidency because he's above it all.  I don't want to hear that argument any more.

    Selective disclosure... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:01:07 PM EST
    ...the bigger point is that Obama has appointed himself the arbiter of what's worthy of disclosure and what's not.  You get the '06 tax return but not the '05 or earlier.  You get the earmarks but not the list of attendees at Rezko fundraisers.  Blabbity blah.

    law firm billing hours (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:03:44 PM EST

    As well as... (none / 0) (#82)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:39:51 PM EST
    ...the non-existent records, memos, schedules from 8 years in the Illinois Senate.  Zippo.

    Go check it out (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:42:02 PM EST
    Obama supporters think it was 'gutsy' of Obama to release his earmarks.  Shows new politics/transparency.  I disagree, but then I'm not a supporter.  I thought that he didn't release them until he was forced to by McCain was kind of too little, too late.

    hmm, if i told you the moon was blue? (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:55:43 PM EST
    would you believe me? i didn't think so. all these passes obama gets won't continue in the general election. it won't be pretty.

    This argument is akin... (none / 0) (#25)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:56:22 PM EST
    ...to having a candidate confess to wrong-doing and the sycophants swoon that "at least he was honest about it!"



    I'm not of the opinion... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:51:54 PM EST
    ... that this makes him any different from Hillary. Of course, that's the point.

    What is your opinion based on? (none / 0) (#97)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:11:11 PM EST
    Look he pushed for transparency and has acted consistent with the transparency.  Senator Clinton in contrast has not.  That makes him different from Senator Clinton.  The question is whether this difference is relevant for you or not.  From my perspective I welcome this transparency...perhaps you can explain to me why you wouldn't?

    Still not getting it... (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:23:48 PM EST

    ...columnist Carol Marin with the Chicago Sun-Times -- broke in. Marin, a visitor to the Obama entourage who accused the regulars of being too "quiet," accused the candidate of concealing details about fundraisers Rezko had for him and a real estate transaction between the two.

    "I don't think it's fair to suggest somehow that we've been trying to hide the ball on this," Obama answered. But this only provoked a noisy back-and-forth between Marin, Sun-Times colleague Lynn Sweet and Michael Flannery from Chicago's CBS affiliate. "How many fundraisers? . . . Who was there? . . . Disclosure of the closing documents?"

    Obama, while repeating his formulation that it was "a boneheaded move" to do business with Rezko, tried to shut down the requests for more information. "These requests, I think, could just go on forever," he said. "At some point, what we need to try to do is respond to what's pertinent."


    urls must be in html format (none / 0) (#223)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:02:52 AM EST
    or they skew the site and your comment will be deleted. Use the link button at the top of the comment box.

    My question is: Is General Dynamics (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:58:26 PM EST
    a company in Illinois that employs thousands of Illinois residents and brings lots of money into the community?

    A quick check of their company website... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jor on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:09:17 PM EST
    ... shows they have three offices in illinois, but it is not their home base.

    That's what I'd like to know. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:10:06 PM EST
    It is Obama's job to fight for his constituents, just like it's Hillary's, and for that matter McCain's. I don't really have a problem with any Senator fighting for defensible spending that creates jobs in their state, even if it does benefit a contributor.

    do you have a problem (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:20:41 PM EST
    with eleven slums operating in Obama's state senate district?

    I think Obama's district... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:25:02 PM EST
    ... has always had slums, and I'm sure his options for getting rid of them were limited. But I'm not an Obama supporter, and I'm aware of the Rezko business. I think Obama's a good politician who negotiated his way pretty well through Chicago's notoriously messy politics. Since I don't put him on a pedestal, that's okay with me. I just don't know if his apostles can accept it.

    I have a problem (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:30:43 PM EST
    with his not taking care of people in his district who were living in squalor.  I want a president who tries to help those people instead of blaming them for the environment in which they live.

    I think it speaks to character.


    I don't disagree... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:44:16 PM EST
    ... but I also accept that Obama would probably never have gotten out of the state senate if he did that. Not being overly starry-eyed about him, I can accept that. I think it's something his true believers might take issue with, though.

    Mr. Change... (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:55:56 PM EST
    ...can apparently remake national politics in his image but can't address the slums in his small corner of Chicago.  It's hyperbole when it suits the argument and a mea culpa that there was nothing he could do when it doesn't...

    Yes we can.  Except when we can't.


    Do you have a problem with the slums operating in (none / 0) (#70)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:11:01 PM EST
    in the State of New York.  It's not like New York State doesn't have ecoomically disadvantage areas?  Has Senator Clinton fixed all of this?

    Senator Clinton's district (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:20:45 PM EST
    is in upstate New York which, if I am recalling from my visits, isn't exactly filled with public housing.  I do recall, however, that she worked very closely with NY while President Clinton was in office to help Cisneros push through a law that made it possible to evict drug dealers from public housing if they were caught and convicted instead of sending them back into the housing projects.  This was nation-wide, not just in NY, and she was the face of this program.  She did a poverty tour.  Very Bobby Kennedy-esque.

    Clinton has also worked aggressively to get public housing re-opened in NO, which is a hotbutton issue  to say the least.  I am recalling this from memory, but I believe she has a bill or cosponsored a bill that had strict penalties for criminals trying to game public housing in NO.  See, she doesn't just offer blanket solutions, she thinks them out to the next step.

    I wonder what Obama did while he was in the IL senate?  Oh, wait, he won't release all of his records.  Hm...curious.


    Senator Clinton represents the entire state (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:48:48 PM EST
    She doesn't have a district.  Good lord.

    my bad--late night for me (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:32:45 PM EST
    You are right, I was wrong about districting.

    Now that I've admitted that, would you address the rest of my comment about what she has done re: public housing while Obama had ELEVEN SLUMS IN HIS DISTRICT where people were living in squalor, had no heat or trash pick-up, and he never noticed, but could take the time to write letters on behalf of his friend Rezko, who, by the way, at that time could not afford to pay the bills to have the heat on but still managed to raise money for Obama's campaigns as well as help oil the purchase of Obama's mansion?

    Come on--I admitted I goofed.  Now you answer my question, and don't use the words "But Clinton did" anywhere.  Just answer the questions about Obama and his district.  The one with the 11 slums.  


    What was he supposed to do? (none / 0) (#142)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:44:30 PM EST
    Wave a magic wand and eliminate you?  It seems anything short of that would fail to satisfy you.

    That drug dealer eviction law you're so fond of, by the way, has been used to evict people from public housing simply because one member of their family is involved in drug activity.


    What was he supposed to do? (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:49:18 PM EST
    ADMIT THAT IT HAPPENED.  His response when he was asked about eleven slums where people in his district were living in squalor was to say that he was not aware of it, then to make some blanket remark about people of a certain demographic and crime.

    That's okay with you?


    Ack (none / 0) (#143)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:44:56 PM EST
    I meant "eliminate poverty" not "eliminate you".  Sorry about that.

    I am tired (none / 0) (#165)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:00:13 PM EST
    I'm sure I have the info somewhere, but didn't his wife get in to a conflict with some of the people from the housing.  I don't see how he could be unaware.

    Not Sure If This Is (none / 0) (#76)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:31:15 PM EST
    The same, but the family of a drug dealer, which is a nonviolent crime, also gets evicted. And when a convicted drug has finished serving his or her sentence, there is often no where for them to live. Should they choose to move in with their family who lives in  public housing everyone gets evicted.

    Seems incredibly unfair to me, for the person who has done their time and the family that is trying to help them out after prison.

    For HRC fans I doubt BHO is any better on this kind of nonsense.


    Senator Clinton is a Senator (none / 0) (#95)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:06:11 PM EST
    Meaning that her district is the entire state not upstate New York.  Is Senator Clinton responsible for all of the slums in New York State?  If so, why hasn't she fixed it?

    When did Hillary and Obama (none / 0) (#111)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:21:25 PM EST
    start working for the House of Representatives?

    Tell me if I'm wrong (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:14:46 PM EST
    wasn't his wife involved with the County board that approved the division?  I can't remember where I saw that so I could be wrong.

    The Crowns mentioned in the earmark (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:34:54 PM EST
    are the same family who was the major stockholder of Maytag with the plant closing in Illinois Obama brought up earlier in the campaign.  Remember the union president with Clinton in Ohio excoriating Obama.

    Same family, more contributions, no help for the union or workers.  Same Obama.

    Chicago Tribune article on (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:44:28 PM EST
    Obama, Crown and Maytag is here.

    no insults here please (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:46:10 PM EST

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Andy08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:13:11 PM EST
    The Obama's earmarks for General Dynamics and its ties to Chicago's Crown family seems peculiar
    given what happened to the Maytag workers.
    What do you think?
    Please check:

    Gave NQ a link to your post here.

    It's interesting that you use the information (none / 0) (#105)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:16:28 PM EST
    about earmarks to formulate questions about Obama and yet don't seem to be concerned with the fact that Senator Clinton doesn't identify hers?  

    This is very warped... (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:27:12 PM EST
    ...logic...as though any malfeasance by Obama is rendered null and void by bringing up doubts about Clinton.

    Might be valid if his campaign platform was "I ain't perfect, but I'm not as bad as my opponent"


    You've jumped to a conclusion... (none / 0) (#177)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:08:41 PM EST
    What malfeasance...?  Was the earmark he supported bad?  If so why was it a bad earmark.  My next question is this.   Where is the information on Senator Clinton's earmarks?  At least there would be something to look at to determine if they were bad.

    Do you always... (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:01:07 AM EST
    ...answer every question with a question?

    obviously it is so transparent that he (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:22:45 PM EST
    waited till 2008 to give out the 2006 numbers even though the 2007 were out.  And only because he was kind of pressured by McCain.

    Here's the thing... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:25:32 PM EST
    Obama's earmarks are out there for everyone to see.  Where are Senator Clinton's?  Oh and one more thing.  Can you think of a possible positive reason for not having access to Senator Clinton's earmarks?

    Link was provided above (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:38:05 PM EST
    The link was posted above.  It's in excel format.  It's a pivot table.  You can select the member you want or dollars etc.

    Some of Clinton's for 2008 include $400k for subsurface engineered wetlands, $50k for a police information network, $500k for sex offender authentication, 50K for outstanding warrants program.


    Pardon me (none / 0) (#145)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:46:01 PM EST
    The link is in #77 above.

    The items I just listed for Clinton are with other house members.  For herself the $98k in environmental remediation.

    Obama wants funds for Edu Initiative 750, underpass 1.3m, mobile clinic 287, asthma vans 196, physician order entry system 187, aquarium juvenile diversion program 401, truck loop 98.  Total $3.3 mil.


    No offense (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:26:10 PM EST
    But do you ever respond to a comment about Obama WITHOUT pointing at Hillary? I mean what does one candidates actions have to do with the other?

    Isn't (none / 0) (#137)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:41:05 PM EST
    the whole point of all of these debates to compare the two candidates?  I realize the rhetorical strategy is to pretend that Obama has claimed he's perfect, and therefore every fly in the ointment totally destroys his candidacy, but I'm more interested in how the two stack up against each other on the merits.

    Not really (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:55:15 PM EST
    The point of this post is Sen Obamas earmark record. What Sen Clinton does with earmarks doesn't dictate what he does, what he says, etc.

    OK (none / 0) (#159)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:56:51 PM EST
    So what is the point of highlighting Obama's earmark record?  

    Its information (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:59:23 PM EST
    About a person who is running for the nomination. And its relevant. And its doubly relevant because of the positions he takes.

    But you already knew that, didn't you? So why ask?


    Pardon but... (none / 0) (#171)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:04:11 PM EST
    ...isn't Obama the one making earmarks an issue?  Perhaps that is why it's being discussed.  Because he has forced into the dialogue?

    err no (none / 0) (#176)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:08:08 PM EST
    Actually it is John McCain who is making earmarks an issue.

    No, we just (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:29:17 PM EST
    like to point out when someone says one thing, but acts in a different manner. We are just testing to see if Sen Obama lives by his own rhetoric or now.

    And speaking only for myself I am all for transparency. Let's start with Sen Obama releasing all his records to show he is willing to live by his own calls for it.

    Marvin interesting response... (none / 0) (#131)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:36:33 PM EST
    Senator Obama has made records available.  Where are Senator Clinton's.  Do you not support transparency?  I do.  I believe that both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama should make all of their earmarks available.  I believe that making tax records available as well.  What is your position on this?

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:58:12 PM EST
    Sen Obama has NOT released a great deal of relevant records. I have no issue with calling for Sen Clinton to release records that have to do with her performance as a Senator and legislator. Which by the way is all I am asking Sen Obama to do.

    I know it is a ritual to release tax returns, and they assure candidates aren't up to anything funny, but honestly personal tax returns are secondary to the other records we are talking about. But I don't want it used as smoke screen for more important issues.


    What are the SPECIFIC (none / 0) (#172)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:05:23 PM EST
    documents are you referring to?

    Are you talking about the magic Rezko documents?  Apparently the Department of Justice isn't competent enough to find wrongdoing.  What we need are the blogs to take a look at that stuff to get a real idea of what went on.


    See everywhere in this page (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:47 PM EST
    For complete list. No need for me to repeat it.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#178)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:09:25 PM EST
    I don't read the comments from the person who I believe you are referring to.  

    Good lord... (5.00 / 3) (#183)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:17:03 PM EST
    ...he has, to date, claimed that he has no access or knowledge of the disposition of any papers whatsoever - letters, memos, schedules, meeting notes - from an entire 8 year period in the Illinois Senate.

    ...he has refused to disclose the schedule of his fundraising events and has further refused to name any attendees of any fundraisers including those hosted by Rezko.

    Now when records from fully 80% of his political career are absent and when he fails to disclose fundraisers solicited on his behalf by an indicted fraudster... it's a bit rich to claim that he's been sufficiently forthcoming.


    Pardon me (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:26:17 PM EST
    for butting in, but it's a thread on Obama's earmarks... on 06/21/05 Obama requested $3 mill for the Henry Crown Space Center, he got $750,000. 04/06/06 requested $3 mill again.

    Is this the same Crown family?


    From what I understand (none / 0) (#228)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:54:30 AM EST
    Obama has said that he simply doesn't have the records that are being asked for.  

    Being a State senator is not like being a Federal senator.  You don't have  staff that keeps track of everything you do.  


    Has Obama (none / 0) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:38:15 PM EST
    campaigned against earmarks?

    Why would Senator Obama campaign against (none / 0) (#141)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:43:38 PM EST
    earmarks?  Not all earmarks are bad.  Some are good.  The problem is secrecy and accountability.  You can't have accountability unless you know what your Senator is earmarking.  I'll ask again.  What do you have against transparency?  

    Heh (none / 0) (#154)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:53:59 PM EST
    I love transparency.  

    I think you might have missed my point.  I wasn't criticizing Obama.


    I think I did miss your point. (none / 0) (#160)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:57:02 PM EST
    I love transparency as well.  After the secretive Bush administration anything to open up the process so that people can see what's going on is a good thing.  At this point most of the argument in here seems to be that if the other guy is pushing it...it must be bad.  

    Tiring... (none / 0) (#189)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:24:18 PM EST
    ...well let's ask Obama why he hasn't released his list of fundraiser attendees.  What does he have against transparency?  Let's ask him why he hasn't disclosed a scrap of paper from 8 years in the Illinois Senate.  What does he have against transparency?

    You seem enthralled by the sound of Obama beating his own drum... selectively releasing some records and withholding others while asking Clinton why she won't simply fall in line.  In pure political terms, who does he think he is to set the agenda of what's worthy of disclosure and what's not?  He thinks earmarks should be openly disclosed.  Clinton hasn't taken that position.  Good for him, good for her... let the voters sort it out.  


    Yeah who is he to release more information than (none / 0) (#192)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:33:04 PM EST
    Clinton?  That's despicable.  The cad.  By releasing more information than Clinton he's making her look bad.  How sneaky.  Right?

    I imagine he was lying. (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:13:13 PM EST
    Those 11 slums were Rezko properties in his state senate district.  The people in those slums had no heat through the Chicago winter.  He could have tried to help them but did nothing about it.

    He didn't need to wave a magic wand, but he could have tried to help.  Instead he claims to be unaware of the situation while living blocks away.

    That's not easy to honestly defend. Thus I expect another "but Clinton" response.

    Do Illionois (none / 0) (#229)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:57:26 AM EST
    State Senators have certain magical powers that no other state senators have?  

    Just curious because my State Senator has never been able to get rid of the poor areas of Jersey City.  Then again maybe he doesn't care about his constituents.  Or any of his predecessors either.

    I love this whole "throw whatever you can at the wal and see what sticks." strategy.


    Obama is (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Andy08 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:22:41 PM EST
    playing the same type of attack games with his return taxes. He only released his 1040 form for the year 2006 (and did not released any of the attachments). He hasn't released his taxes eitehr for all of his years as Senator nor has he release (yet) his 2007 return tax forms.

    Yet he continues to raise the issue of Clinton releasing all of her tax returns. Come again?

    Actually yes... (5.00 / 2) (#193)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:33:19 PM EST
    Senator Clinton does release the schedule of her fundraisers.


    after I and some other reporters raised a fuss, the Obama campaign decided to disclose events held in places they deemed "public" and let a pool reporter in to cover. That is laudable. But not enough. For example, today Obama is going to Pacific Palisades--near Los Angeles--for a high dollar elite donor fund-raising event, and the campaign did not deem it worth to put on his "public schedule."

    guess he's exhausted his little people donations (none / 0) (#224)
    by thereyougo on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:36:08 AM EST
    and has to hit the big bucks donors.

    Thats what I mean about his starry eyed claims.
    His contributions average 109$ and I'm thinking how long before he's maxed those out?

    Its evident he's got to pass the hat to Oprah types.


    Rigelian is chattering and limited (5.00 / 2) (#210)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:52:49 PM EST
    to four comments a day. S/he's way over limit now. I'm going to clean the thread. The topic is earmarks.

    Flyerhawk, you can come back tomorrow too. You're attempting to dominate the thread.

    Goodnight to both of you.

    The whole earmarks thing (5.00 / 1) (#218)
    by white n az on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:53:04 AM EST
    is a Bush Republican attempt to distance himself from the excesses of 2000-2006 when the Republican's controlled the Presidency and both houses and abused the system without conscience.

    So now they they are attempting to make political hay out of the earmark mechanisms when in reality, we spend more in a week to fund the Iraq nightmare than we spend in a year on earmarks.

    In short, it's a relative non-issue but political fodder for the Republican's hoping to make the American public forget just how fiscally irresponsible they were/are.

    To see Democrats jumping the shark on the topic is just stupid.

    McCain has some degree of the same... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:20:53 PM EST
    ... except that much of the Republican base doesn't really like that aspect of him, so showing that he's a phony might actually make them feel better.

    Hillary may have other flaws, but she more or less embraces the sausage-making aspect of politics, and is who she appears to be.

    Where Is The Contradiction (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:28:39 PM EST
    I do not see how this contradicts the fact that Obama enacted legislation for transparency in government.

    This important bill will bring badly needed transparency to Federal spending by creating a user-friendly website to search all government contracts, grants, earmarks, and loans, thereby opening up Federal financial transactions to public scrutiny.


    According to the law the website has to be up and working by January 2008. Sounds like a good thing, but I guess it got delayed (pun intended) because I cannot find it.

    And does it mean that because he accepted donations from people in the defense industry it indicates that he is for a long war, or any war for that matter? Did he ever say that he wants to cut the military budget to zero, something I wish for. No I do not think so.

    But if earmarks bother you then I guess that you should vote for Straight Talk McCain:

    Earmarks refer to specific spending items that members of Congress can insert into legislation. Eliminating earmarks has been a continuing theme of McCain's campaign and career in the Senate. He says regularly on the stump that he has never asked for or received an earmark project.

    "My friends, examine my record on earmark and pork barrel projects, and you will see a big fat zero," he said today in Vermont.


    And if you believe that he is somehow above HRC or BHO regarding ethics, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Website's here (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:31:57 PM EST
    Is it (none / 0) (#75)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 09:24:15 PM EST
    a bridge to the past?

    Underpass (none / 0) (#173)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:06:20 PM EST
    No, it's a $1,313,000 underpass for 2008.

    did you mention the book advances? (none / 0) (#66)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 08:53:35 PM EST

    Quicky (none / 0) (#106)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:17:52 PM EST
    OK, I've had a look.... so far I see some things that seem unnecessary, coaching to museums.  Looks like he requested about $21 mill.  I see ethanol, soybean, livestock genome (are we talking cloned meat?) about $18 mill.  This is his request list.. about $538,407,831.

    It seems to me and correct me if I'm wrong (none / 0) (#107)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:18:00 PM EST
    Clinton supporters seemed to oppose transparency for earmarks because Obama pushes for such transparency.  So far I haven't heard a rational argument why transparency is a bad thing.  Can someone please make an argument that suggests that the transparency policy being pushed by Senator Obama is a bad thing?

    It's selective transparency (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:27:42 PM EST
    He can ask that his records from the law firm be released.  He can sit down with the Chicago press and straighten out this whole silly Rezko thing.  He can explain why he had 11 squalid public housing districts in his district and failed to notice.  He can explain why he didn't stop his good friends and high-dollar contributors from closing the Maytag plant (or, for giggles, he can explain why he never even brought it up in the first place), he can explain how his wife got a quarter million dollar a year raise after he did oversight on the hospital board, he can explain why he has lobbyists on his campaign.  He can explain, in short, why he is a politician.

    Clinton has never claimed she is not a politician.  She never claimed she is "above" Washington fighting-she actually said she wants to roll up her sleeves and dive in.

    Don't you see that for those of us who have been paying attention, this latest revelation is laughable?  It's truly right up there with the whole Spitzer thing for me.  Rail against something one day, get caught doing it the next.

    And then the Obama supporters come in with an excuse for EVERYTHING.


    Kathy (none / 0) (#124)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:31:41 PM EST
    Should Senator Clinton explain why every slum that exists in the State of New York exists?  Can Senator Clinton explain why the State didn't grow by the 200,000 jobs that she promised to the region?  Tell me Kathy if you are seriously concerned about transparency why are you calling for Senator Clinton to release both her tax and earmark information?

    I think you should ask (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:43:10 PM EST
    Senator Clinton that question.  She takes questions head on and answers them, even when they get up to, like eight.

    She explained during the debate why the jobs didn't grow.  I'm sure you watched the debate, but in case you missed it, she said she assumed that Gore would get the presidency (you know, instead of slinking off like a kicked dog along with Donna Brazile instead of FIGHTING for votes in Florida.  Deja vu, but that's not the question)  At any rate, she has a 60% approval rating there, so she must be doing something right.

    Clinton has said she will release her tax info.  Her earmark info is on the website that has been listed.  I don't think anyone has asked her to go back to 2006, or any of the many other years when she was in the US senate.  Maybe you can ask Senator Obama why he won't release records from his IL senate years?  There has to be at least one or two where he was more than present.  Or, since Clinton has released records from her law firm years, why don't you ask Obama to do the same?  That should clear up the Rezko thing quite easily by proving he only spent, like, eight hours on Rezko stuff (wow, eight seems to be a good number for him)

    I suppose the reason I'm not all het up about Clinton is twofold.  1) If she's hiding anything, she learned a looong time ago how to do it, and simple rubes like you and me looking at her tax returns won't reveal a hill of beans.  2) I recall at least two news cycles talking about the amount of money her campaign spent on doughnuts and pizza the last time she filed with the FEC.  I can't imagine what they'd do with her earmarks.  For this reason alone, I don't blame her. I mean, what are these earmarks going to show?  That she is d*mn good at getting stuff done and that she can maneuver through legislation.  I'm boiling with outrage.


    Oh by the way... (none / 0) (#127)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:33:15 PM EST
    I've never heard Senator Obama claim that he wasn't a politician.  Never.  I heard him call for a new kind of politics...a difficult task given the environment.  The question I have for you is simply this...when someone is calling for something good, transparency for earmarks...why are you so resistant?

    Seriously? (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:42:18 PM EST
    Tired of the same old politics?  Want a change?  Someone new and shiny and not part of the same old politics?

    Of course he never claimed he's not a politican.  He's just not like all the rest of them.


    Nobody opposes transparency for earmarks (none / 0) (#125)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:32:43 PM EST
    real transparency would be to outline them publicly with the name of the Senator or Representative attaching them included, prior to the votes on the bills to which they are attached have been taken.  Anything else is just subterfuge.  If that is what Mr. Obama is suggesting then I applaud his effort.  But until I see concrete evidence to that effect I will hold judgement.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:34:56 PM EST
    Let me get this straight, you prefer NO information rather than getting information about earmarks after the fact?  I think that Senator Obama's position is decidedly better than the current state of affairs don't you?

    No because it does not change anything (none / 0) (#139)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:43:06 PM EST
    we get the information after the fact already.  Thats how we know Clinton and Schummer earmarked 148.4 million dollars on the defense bill for NY companies.  So wooppee doo we found out after the fact.  The real change would come if they could get voted on individually and then you could eliminate those pork barrel expenditures.  But I don't see either one of them talking about doing that.

    Yes we know it because the press dug up the info (none / 0) (#144)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:45:25 PM EST
    The transparency lowers the search cost making it easier for voters and the press to know precisely which projects the Senators earmarked.  Tell me practically what in the world do you have against this.  Give me a rational basis for your opposition...beside the fact that Senator Obama is proposing this?

    Actually... (none / 0) (#130)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:36:10 PM EST
    ...the opposition is to the notion that Obama is final arbiter of what must be disclosed and what can be kept from view.

    To be disclosed:
    Tax returns (he picks the years)
    Earmarks (ditto)
    White House records (convenient since he has none)

    Illinois Senate papers, memos, letters, schedules
    Dates and attendees of fundraisers
    House closing documents


    Huh? (none / 0) (#109)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:20:24 PM EST
    Last I checked - which was, oh well over 10 years ago, the billing records in question were produced.

    "In total, Mrs. Clinton billed Madison Guaranty for 89 tasks, including 33 conferences with Madison Guaranty officials, on 53 separate days."

    that's only one matter (none / 0) (#133)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:38:09 PM EST
    let's see everything.

    um... (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:02:53 PM EST
    ...perhaps we can have them both publicly empty their dainties drawer too?  Senator McCarthy would be proud...

    Flyerhawk I'm kind of new to posting here... (none / 0) (#120)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:28:30 PM EST
    I haven't given up the possibility that people will respond to reasonably constructed questions with a reasonably constructed reply.  So call me unjaded at this point.  I'm hoping that someone can give me an answer to my question.  Why in the world would someone defend keeping information about earmarks from the public.  I don't quite get why Democrats, who have pushed for open government for years, would support such a proposition.  Hopefully someone can provide me a reasoned argument about why such transparency harms the republic.

    Sometimes you'll get a reasonable response (none / 0) (#147)
    by JJE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:47:48 PM EST
    sometimes not.  Flyerhawk and I and a few others are fighting a lonely battle to convince the community that Obama is not Satan's spawn and Clinton is not the second coming.  I don't think we're making much headway.

    A telling comment... (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:13:02 PM EST
    ...but typical when any defense of Clinton is portrayed as propping her up as the 'second coming'... in fact, I don't even see any overt praise of Clinton anywhere on this thread.

    But such is the paradigm at work among Obama supporters.  


    Overt praise of Clinton? (none / 0) (#184)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:19:14 PM EST
    Come on it's an attack on Obama for releasing earmark information.  Do you want to make a bet on how many of the people mounting the attack are Clinton supporters?  But please continue to make an argument about the earmark transparency being a really really bad thing...

    Where did I argue... (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by DudeE on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:50:44 PM EST
    ...that earmark transparency is a bad thing?

    and when you resort to name-calling (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:48:22 PM EST
    you won't make any headway.

    arrogance (5.00 / 2) (#217)
    by white n az on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:48:13 AM EST
    Flyerhawk and I and a few others are fighting a lonely battle to convince the community that Obama is not Satan's spawn and Clinton is not the second coming.  I don't think we're making much headway.

    1. Where did you ever get the idea that this was a worthwhile mission to save us heathens?

    2. I can appreciate that there's many ditto heads over at DK, but why here?

    3. Few if any here, think Obama is Satan's spawn

    4. Few if any here, think HRC is the second coming

    5. Personally, I think the admission of your conspiracy is worth some kind of admonition from Jeralyn.

    6. The concept of participation is an exchange of ideas, extemporaneous, original...not group think

    I'm quite sure that few if any of us actually change our minds based upon the vast attempts at persuasion here. We exchange information at best, insult at worst.

    People often get locked in... (none / 0) (#152)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:52:06 PM EST
    this is often a quality of group think.  I find it amusing that folks are objecting to something unarguably good because they think by supporting it their supporting Senator Obama.  I haven't heard one rational reason for objection to the release of earmark information.  Not one iota on how the release of this information is not in the public interest...and yet, because of the candidate they support this is what they have been forced to argue.  It's truly odd.

    earmarks are horrible, terrible, (none / 0) (#157)
    by cpinva on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:56:36 PM EST
    a complete, total waste of tax dollars! unless they happen to benefit my state and/or me personally. then i think they're the most wonderfullest use of tax dollars that could possibly be imagined!

    i suspect this feeling is shared by every citizen of every state in the union.

    one man's waste of tax dollars is another man's revenue stream. FDR's WPA was the republican party's boondogle and handouts to those lazy, good-for-nothing, out of work, non-inheritor's of wealth.

    something tells me, if you dig deep enough, you'll find earmarks in the minutes of the roman senate.

    It wouldn't surprise me...if you did, but (none / 0) (#163)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:59:01 PM EST
    why in the world would someone oppose making earmarks transparent?  Oh by the way, I'm quite sure that there are some earmarks that I would oppose that would go to my state.  At the very lease the transparency is likely to knock out some truly dreadful earmarks from happening in the first place.

    That is still better (none / 0) (#167)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:01:54 PM EST
    IMO than deflecting tough questions constantly and running out after eight questions. I mean if you are for transparency why not hold daily press conferences?

    I don't get it...Clinton used to believe in (none / 0) (#197)
    by Rigelian on Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 11:38:00 PM EST
    transparency.  What changed?

    Eight years ago, when Hillary parachuted into NY to become our Senator, she and Howard Wolfson became completely obsessed with opponent Rick Lazio's tax returns, which he did not release until the end of August..

    The Campaign Of Victimization (none / 0) (#216)
    by Tacitus Voltaire on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 12:45:23 AM EST
    because the obama campaign has made it all about him being the victim. his supporters concentrate on how evil they think hillary is, synergising with rush limbaugh et al. to create a narrative of obama deserving the nomination because he is the angel in the war of good against evil. i suspect karl rove has succeeded in helping democrats destroy hillary. it used to be that only republicans spent every day making vicious remarks about the clintons and other democratic politicians.

    could they possibly spend some time describing how great he is and what great things he will do, and also perhaps pay a little more attention to john mccain? (to be fair, both candidates need to do this and obama made the first move today). i know the obamaites are upset with hillary's hard campaigning, but i doubt that responding by ferociously tearing her apart is the best course for obama and the democratic party.

    and yet, she is doing better in matchups against mccain and obama is doing worse. it could be that the attacks that the obamaites and people like keith olberman are making are not having the intended effect...

    Obama and Crown (none / 0) (#232)
    by cmugirl on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:36:08 AM EST
    Interesting how none of the links about the Crown family was connected to Maytag?

    From SusanHu at My DD:

    "Do you recall that Barack Obama, as a U.S. Senate candidate, met with Maytag workers, asked for their donations and promised them he'd help save their jobs, and that he then went to the Crown family and took their large donations, but never said a word to Crown about saving the jobs of the Maytag workers? (Crown confirmed in a newspaper interview that Obama never asked him about saving the Maytag jobs.)"

    Remember the video of Machinists Union President Tom Buffenbarger in Ohio?  THIS is what he was going off about!

    Don't forget (none / 0) (#233)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:46:16 AM EST
    He wasn't an opponent of it during the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

    Senate Vote On Ban (none / 0) (#234)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:53:58 AM EST
    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly shot down an effort Thursday night to ban "earmark" spending for one year -- quashing an effort backed by all three senators seeking the presidency.

    The earmark measure -- an amendment to the Senate's 2009 budget act -- failed on a vote of 29-71.

    Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted in favor of the amendment.

    McCain, who has refused to request spending for projects in his home state of Arizona, has long been a vocal critic of earmarks.

    Clinton and Obama announced this week they favor the ban, despite their own use of earmarks.


    Just a question.... (none / 0) (#236)
    by ConsiderChange on Sun Mar 30, 2008 at 03:40:43 AM EST
    ....but did any of Clinton's senate earmarks benefit her husband as it did with Obama's wife Michelle?