The Sunlight Foundation has a new program, Exposing Earmarks, that will appeal to those wishing to cut government spending. The Examiner announces the launch of the program in today’s edition and requests help from an army of citizen journalists.
Congress is considering a bill — the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations measure — that presently contains 1,867 earmarks worth more than a half-billion tax dollars and averaging nearly $268,000 each. Many are for things that sound like worthy causes such as “hospital facilities and equipment,” yet none of the sponsoring congressmen put their names on their earmarks.
That’s why The Examiner newspapers have joined with the Sunlight Foundation, Porkbusters.org, and Citizens Against Government Waste in posting the database of earmarks in the Labor-HHS appropriations and inviting readers to help identify the congressmen behind each earmark. Organizations like The Heritage Foundation, National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth blog are linking to the database. The database was obtained from a congressional source and has been checked and double-checked. Congress may still modify the bill, approve it as is or reject it.
Check out the earmarks for your state and then call your congressman and ask if he or she sponsored any of your state’s earmarks. If the answer is yes, ask why the congressman’s name isn’t on the earmark. If you recognize the institution designated to receive the earmarked tax dollars, call them and ask them what they intend to do with your money.
Then email us at [email protected] with the subject line “Earmarks” and tell us what you found out. The Examiner will be asking more questions about who got the earmarks and why, so your information could be very important. You will be part of an army of citizen journalists determined to shine some much-needed light on spending decisions made behind closed doors by powerful Members of Congress.The Examiner has a link for those who do not know who their congressman is and they have links to the earmarks by state.
Ed Morrisey has more at Captain’s Quarters.