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Monday, January 09, 2006

PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: "Have Family in Congress, Will Lobby for Earmarks" is Lobbyists' New Calling Card

The Wall Street Journal's John Fund notes a couple of interest facts about the current state of things in Congress:

"Many congressional relatives earn a lucrative living as lobbyists for earmarks, including the brother of Rep. Jack Murtha, D- PA, the brother-in-law of Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ted Stevens R-AK, and the son of David Obey of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on House Appropriations."

Fund also notes this from The Heritage Foundation's Dr. Ron Utt:

"Earmarks have created their own parasitic specialized lobbying industry. 'They go client hunting, telling cities or counties they can virtually guarantee an earmark,' says Ron Utt, a former federal budget official now at The Heritage Foundation.

"In 2004, 3,521 companies or local governments hired lobbyists to pursue earmarks, up from just 1,865 four years earlier. A top White House aide told me that 'there's need for lubrication of the legislative process, but it's gotten out of control.'"


I'll post a link to Fund's full column if it becomes available.


As promised, here is the link to the full Fund column, courtesy of OpinionJournal.com.