The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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

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