view from mars

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

more goode-ness



From the Virginian-Pilot over in Hampton Roads:

Can a congressmen truly believe that multiple employees of Company X are so enchanted with the lawmaker’s performance that they and their spouses spontaneously line up to contribute the maximum amount allowed by law?

Even if such “donations” aren’t reimbursed, it’s a safe bet that many are coerced. And why? Because said congressman can give Company X something it wants.

In Goode’s case, that was a so-called "earmark" (an appropriation for a congressman’s pet project) worth far more than the illegal donations. With Goode’s help, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Congress agreed to spend $3.6 million to set up a center in Goode’s rural Southside district where MZM would do background checks on potential defense suppliers.

The south-central Virginia district, where employment has shrunk precipitously in recent years, benefited through the addition of dozens of MZM jobs. But should U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab for such endeavors on the recommendation of the local congressman alone? And should said congressman get to pad his re-election war chest as a result?

On both counts, no.

After years of cultivating an image as a populist hayseed, Goode may get by with playing the rube on this one. But in the name of Mitchell Wade, earmarks ought to go. And any congressman who claims, as did Goode, to be “shocked and amazed” that some corporations play fast and loose with campaign contributions may be too unsophisticated to work in Washington.
Mmm-hmm.

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