CNN's real cool survey of every member of Congress -- do they list all their earmarks/pork publicly, or do they sleaze around in the dark?
I have cleaned up the Camel. Someone said they couldn't see the Camel. I see the Camel.
If you live in the USA, you can go HERE, read a totally nifty story, and find out if your Member of Congress does his/her/its official business in a dark sneaky closet, or conducts his/her official duties in the full light of public sunshine and scrutiny. (Right now my Congressman does it in the dark.)
Earmarks are a nice way of saying "pork." Pork is federal money members of Congress like to sneak into huge, complicated budget bills and send home for questionable, dubious projects and reasons. An extraordinarily famous piece of mega-pork is Alaska's Bridge To Nowhere -- but comparable crap gets shoved into the federal budget thousands of times a year.
I am tempted to say a few sleazy things about my Congressman Richard Neal, but I will give the Gentleman until Tuesday or Wednesday to Straighten Up and Fly Right about publicizing his earmarks, I will give Rubber Richie a free ride for the moment. Poor guy was caught totally off guard when CNN thought it had some sort of right to make members of Congress tell their voters what kind of monkey business they're up to. He needs the weekend to get over his shock and dismay.
As for this CNN story -- what's wrong with CNN??? I expect heartwarming pieces of candy fluff from CNN about one-legged high school tuba players, and adorable dogs that like to climb flagpoles.
22 June 2007
Representative Richard E. Neal
U.S. House of Representatives
Dear Congressman Neal:
According to Cable News Network, you have not responded to CNN's question about making your requests for legislative earmarks accessible to the public and the media.
Where the House and the party leaderships have designed current House rules to shield Members' activities from public and media scrutiny, it is not sufficient to conduct your activities within, and to take refuge behind current House rules and regulations regarding earmarks.
It is for your voters to determine if these earmarks are inappropriate or wasteful. I cannot make this determination when you choose to conduct your official business in secrecy. How do you serve me, this district, Massachusetts, or the nation, when you prevent voters from knowing your official activities in Congress?
I want the Member who represents me in Congress to do so in a fully accountable and public way. I did not vote to make you a member of a privileged secret society within my government, and nothing you do as if you belonged to a secret society can possibly benefit me, my community, Massachusetts, or the United States.
Please make all your legislative earmark requests fully public, fully transparent and fully accountable, immediately.
Let other Members continue to conduct their activities in secret. Lead and set standards, don't follow and let others set standards for you.
Is your representative in Congress willing to share his or her list of earmark requests for 2008? CNN called the offices of 435 members of the House to ask whether they would make their lists public. Only 48 members' offices provided a list; of the others, 68 declined, 313 did not respond and six said they had no earmark requests. Use the menus below to find out what your representative said.
District: Massachusetts 02
Rep. Richard E. Neal (D)
Response: No response