Show your earmarks

first_imgIT’S not the sexiest issue in national politics, but ending the practice of secret earmarks in congressional spending is, like state redistricting, one of those wonky issues that could have a profoundly beneficial effect on representative politics. An earmark is a line-item request for funding of pet projects that members of Congress insert into major appropriations bills. The best part (for them) is they don’t have to disclose who stuck the request in. This practice is directly responsible for fiascoes such as the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, which had no practical value other than sending more than $300 million in federal funds into the state’s economy. (Thankfully, that project has been dropped.) And, as with redistricting, all the politicians say they are for ending this practice. But what they do is another story. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Indeed, eight of 15 Southern California members of Congress refused a recent request by the Daily News to reveal their list of earmarks. Republican Reps. Elton Gallegly of Thousand Oaks, Howard “Buck” McKeon of Santa Clarita, Gary Miller of Brea and Jerry Lewis of Redlands would not share. Nor would Democrat Reps. Hilda Solis of El Monte, Adam Schiff of Pasadena, Linda Sanchez of Cerritos and Jane Harmon of El Segundo. Shame on them. Only a light on the proceedings can stop outrageous pork-barrel spending and allow federal funds to pay for things that make sense.last_img read more