Rotten Pork

There is pork, and there is rotten pork.

The Post analyzed public records on the holdings of all 535 members and compared them with earmarks members had sought for pet projects, most of them since 2008. The process uncovered appropriations for work in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members. The review also found 16 lawmakers who sent tax dollars to companies, colleges or community programs where their spouses, children or parents work as salaried employees or serve on boards.

How about this?

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) secured a $900,000 earmark that was used to resurface about two dozen roads in Mississippi in 2010. One of those was LC Turner Circle, a quarter-mile residential loop in the small town of Bolton, where Thompson and his daughter own two homes.

Or this?

Two years later, Hastings himself sought an earmark for a project near property he was selling to his brother. In 2009, he secured $750,000 toward the planning of a new bridge that will replace an outdated railroad underpass in Pasco, Wash.

As Congress required, Hastings certified that he and his wife had “no financial interest” in the earmark. Hastings noted on his Web site that the project would “improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians, while improving freight mobility and response times for emergency services.”

He said nothing, however, about its proximity to Columbia Basin Paper & Supply, the janitorial supply company that Hastings owned and ran until he was elected. His brother now operates the company. County records show Hastings and his wife still own the land and a 7,000-square-foot building. The overpass, as planned, will start about three blocks away.

There is more at the Washington Post, who should be commended for a journalistic job well done.

You can call it corruption, stealing, or whatever you like. A thief dressed in fancy clothes is still a thief. Voters should take note, and remove these people from Washington.

HT: Russ Roberts
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