May 17, 2006

Ending Earmarks Express Comes to Rhode Island Today

Carroll Andrew Morse

The “Ending Earmarks Express” is in Rhode Island today (and will be met in Westerly by Steve Laffey's Rhody Reformer). The earmark being highlighted is a $200,000 grant for an animal shelter that was insterted into the 2005 Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill...

Today’s Egregious Earmark: $200,000 in Federal Housing Funds to Build a New “state-of-the-art,” 12,000-square-foot Animal Facility in Westerly, Rhode island, which will include a “huge” dog obedience school…

The Westerly Sun newspaper wrote about U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee’s visit to Stand Up For Animals to announce the earmark:

“Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, guest of honor at the Stand Up for Animals major gifts campaign kickoff to fund a new town animal shelter, had a gift of his own to contribute Thursday. Chafee announced a $200,000 federal grant for the project, noting that the funds have been approved by a subcommittee of the Housing and Urban Development's appropriation committee in Washington.”

According to the Ending Earmarks Express website, to qualify as an “egregious earmark”, an earmark must meet at least two of the following criteria…
  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
  • Serves only a local or special interest.
The goal of Americans for Prosperity, sponsor of the Ending Earmarks Express, is to introduce more accountability and transparency into the Federal budgeting process.

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So Mr. Whitehouse has begun his campaign. I noticed that one of his points is to secure pensions. Mrs. Matilde Leca would disagree with him. Her husband died in 1995, and she has yet to see his pension from TIAA Cref. I would think that then Attorney General Whitehouse would find that having someone sign a legal document which he or she cannot read, and with not translation would be a no no. In all fairness Senator Chaffee's office also knows about this. At least they began an investigation. Mr. Whitehouse did not even bother to answer. Very soon Mr. Whitehouse will make the round of elderly housing promising to protect Pensions. If it was his mother who did not get his father's pension, TIAA Cref would be in Court, facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Mrs. Leca can only go to the market once a month. She had to give up her home. No one will help her. Yes Mr. Whitehouse will protect pensions, just ask MRs. Leca

Posted by: Frank Gomes at May 17, 2006 1:58 PM

I was in Westerly on business today and stopped by to hear the presentation. Tim Phillips and Steve Laffey gave excellent speeches.

It is outrageous that Senator Chafee takes credit for this foolish pork barrel spending as a "gift of his own". This is taxpayer money that ordinary Americans work hard for that Linc Chafee is doling out to get reelected. Chafee's actions represent the fraud, waste and abuse that needs to stop in Washington.

Only one Senate candidate wants to stop it and only one has a plan to stop it:

Steve Laffey!

Posted by: Warbucks at May 17, 2006 6:18 PM