The National Journal has toted up the 2010 earmark requests by the 52 members of Congress who form the Tea Party Caucus:
According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.
“It’s disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt,” said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. “There’s going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks.”
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, backed $16.1 million in earmarks.
Three members of the Georgia delegation, U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County, showed up as “zeroes” in the National Journal assessment.
Tom Graves of Ranger, who was first elected in June on the strength of his tea party credentials, was originally linked by the National Journal to an earmark worth $8,331,000.
But according to Graves’ office, that earmark belongs to U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican from Missouri. The National Journal admits that it goofed, and has already made the fix.
A decision on who the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee won’t come until next week, we’re told. In the meantime, expect to see U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, the candidate of many fiscal conservatives, every time you flick your TV remote. He was on MSNBC’ “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Tuesday – arguing against today’s vote in the U.S. House on the Bush tax cuts:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota made his second trip to Georgia since the Nov. 2 elections this week. The official reason for the visit of the possible presidential contender was a seminar on tort reform orchestrated by Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus.
But Pawlenty continued laying the groundwork for a 2012 run in meetings with potential supporters, including – so we hear – state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, and Republican strategist Tom Perdue.
Pawlenty will be here a third time next month, as part of a book tour. Not that anyone’s counting.
The state Capitol is four floors of empty space in December. Vacant. Vacuous. Hollow, even. Even so, the state Senate’s new ruling Committee on Assignments couldn’t find an empty conference room to hold an organizational meeting today. Six of its members have decamped to the 191 Club in downtown Atlanta. And no, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s two appointees were not invited. Because this is how power-sharing works.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider