Under the Dome

Defense skews Butterfield's earmarks

G.K. ButterfieldAn earmark watchdog says Rep. G.K. Butterfield's requests may be overstated.

Steve Ellis, vice president of the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense, said that his group generally defines earmarks as budget appropriations that would benefit a business, nonprofit, local government or university a member of Congress represents.

It does not include broader program requests that benefit multiple groups.

"Asking for a billion dollars in Justice Department grants is not an earmark," he explained. "Asking for $15,000 to buy Mag-Lites for your local police department is."

Still, he said many members of Congress included those requests in the earmarks lists they posted on their Web site over the weekend.

That would appear to include Butterfield, who asked for $1.9 billion in Virginia-class submarines, $807 million in aircraft carriers and $127 million in carrier refueling overhauls, among other large military spending requests.

The inclusion of those big-ticket items skews Butterfield's requests, which totaled $7.3 billion — or nearly four times as much as the rest of the North Carolina delegation.


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Re: Oh noes!

Language, please.

I'm sorry I said "earmark."

I'll say 12 Glenn Beck's and 3 Hail Limbaugh's for attrition.

Re: Oh noes!

Language, please.

I wouldn't say it's a correction. Butterfield himself listed these under "earmarks" on his page. In fact, he was the only member of the delegation to use the term on his Web site.

But I think it's worth noting that the number is a bit high since he's including submarines and such on his list.

— RTB 

Oh noes!

Is that a correction RTB, or just an admission that McCain's failed plan to reject the one job of Congress to (horror) "earmark" (shudder) our tax dollars to come home is sheer asshattery?

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