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Posts tagged with “Earmarks”

Oh How Things Change…

An oldie, but a goodie of a quote I was able to get off the Kagen4Congress website in early 2007 before the Kagen Campaign systematically scrubbed their website of past statements. (via the archives of the BBA)

Kagen made the quote in late 2006 during his first run for Congress.

Appleton, WI – Saying that professional politicians in Washington need to start showing more respect for middle-class Wisconsin taxpayers, Dr. Steve Kagen today said that a top priority for the next Congress must be ending pork-barrel projects and special-interest spending.

“The old Congress that left town last week amid scandal and controversy will be replaced on November 7 with a new Congress,” Dr. Kagen said. “We will stand up for true Wisconsin values by balancing the federal budget, putting an end to pork, and enacting strict new spending limits to bring down the record deficits we are inheriting.”

Dr. Kagen said Congress this session set records for padding legislation with special-interest spending. Last year, some 15,877 pork projects were slipped into bills, costing taxpayers more than $47 billion.

“That’s five times as much pork, at more than twice the cost, as a decade ago and more than last year’s entire $41 billion budget for homeland security,” Dr. Kagen said. “Instead of refocusing resources on supporting our troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq or investing in a more competitive economy, they have squandered the taxpayers’ money on special-interest projects.”

This past weekend, in article on earmark spending from the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Beginning last year, lawmakers were required to post their requests for earmark funding on their House office Web sites. In Wisconsin’s House delegation:

æ Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Appleton, is asking for $113.7 million for 73 projects;

æ Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, wants $81.8 million for 72 projects; and

æ Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, is requesting $550.7 million for 54 projects.

æ Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, is not asking for any earmark funding this year for economic reasons.

“As our country struggles through the most difficult economic situation in a generation, every dollar matters,” Kind said. “We must look out for excessive spending, and we must continue working to ensure greater transparency and increased fiscal responsibility in the earmark process.”

Dave Obey (D-Wausau) is reported as seeking $213.3 million for 85 projects in his district.  Herb Kohl is seeking $345.3 million for an undisclosed number of projects.  Russ Feingold is continuing is record of never asking for earmarks.

Kagen is not quoted in the article defending any of his pork projects, amazing since he usually can’t wait to get in front of a microphone held by a Post-Crescent reporter.

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