LORDS OF PORK
From our read-it-and-weep desk, there are now 39,294 congressional earmark requests for fiscal 2011 — that’s $131 billion worth — bobbing around in the great money seas of Washington. Those requests are no longer anonymous flotsam, however. A trio of advocacy groups — Taxpayers Against Earmarks, WashingtonWatch.com and Taxpayers for Common Sense — are tracking those earmarks in a public database.
“Even though some members of Congress insisted that it was technologically impossible or would cost too much to create an earmark-requests database, our three groups were able to build a database in less than six months for less than $100,000,” says research director Stephanie Mesick.
The groups are monitoring lawmakers and the partisan divide. Indeed, $106 billion has been requested by Democrats, $23 billion by Republicans. On the spendthrift “Hooligan Representatives” list are four Republicans and a whopping 253