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Earmarks: Start the clean up now
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, February 16, 2006

Apparently Arlen Specter's earmarks have been good news for the husband of a legislative aide:
Sen. Arlen Specter helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, records show.

Specter, R-Pa., used a process called "earmarking" 13 times to set aside $48.7 million for six clients represented by lobbyist Michael Herson and the firm he co-founded, American Defense International. The clients paid Herson's firm nearly $1.5 million in fees since 2002, federal lobbying records show.

Herson's wife, Vicki Siegel Herson, is Specter's legislative assistant for appropriations. She deals with Specter's work on the Senate Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee, where all the earmarks originated. Siegel, who uses her maiden name at work, is a former lobbyist for defense contractors who has worked for Specter since 1999.
Specter's response?
In a statement responding to questions from USA TODAY, Specter said he did not know the earmarks were going to clients of Siegel's husband. "I am advised that at no time did her husband lobby my office or seek appropriations from any member of my staff," the statement said.
Read that carefully. It's a red herring.

Ask yourself, why would anyone have to lobby his office or seek appropriations when the primary aide for writing up the earmarks worked on the Senate Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee?

Perception is reality in politics:
"Even when there is nothing improper about the actual earmark, it's very difficult for citizens and even other members to be sure," said Dennis Thompson, who teaches ethics at Harvard University.
In this case, it appears there maybe be something improper and at a minimum the appropriations should be frozen until that can be determined and Ms. Seigel-Herson should be seeking new employment ... now.
 
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Comments
Yet another example of how earmarks are being used by politicians for their own benefit. Add this one to how Don Young and Ted Stevens stood to benefit from the "bridge to nowhere", and it is easy to see how the foxes are guarding the henhouse.
 
Written By: EdMcGon
URL: http://politicsandpigskins.blogspot.com/
Decisions decisions...
Help the Republicans fritter away my tax dollars on pet projects for their friends...

or....

Help the Democrats further create a socialist pact with their constituents and fritter away my tax dollars on pet projects for them....

It IS a quandry ain’t it?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Let’s say I wanted to send a check to an anti-earmark pol...is there a list of ’em somewhere?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"bob; Be careful about pressing Henke too hard. You see what happens to
people that their (sic)take a stand in disagreement with him."
Received the above email today. Nice to know that at least a few [well, uh, at least two] readers find my stuff amusing!

I see the wisdom of limiting Bithead’s input; he comments too much and that gives the magazine too much right spin. Taking action at the point of losing an argument with him....Clinton had a much better feel for his "Sister Souljah" moment. Jon apparently felt that he had battled to a draw [I guess]. Taking Bithead on before delivering the coup d’ grace was not a good idea unless there was an intention to send a clear message to all commenters to the right of Jon. As you can see from the above, "message received".
However, what is the message? Again, not good timing. Jon is in the clutches of the Kos-like Greenwald [probably Soros funded] movement (ably enabled by "Mona") and seems to be saying that all loyal neo-libertarians should get on board that “Impeachment Now” movement. Does the term "loose cannon" apply?
Let me be even more clear. Putting neo-libertarians in bed with the radical left, as Jon is clearly advocating, may be a good long-term strategy, but if that is a good thing to do right now, it needs a much better set-up with the troops than it has received.
Is there a serious neo-libertarian movement going on here, or just a vanity site for you three and a chance to make some ad money by filling a niche? Perhaps I am too cynical; well, yes, I am too cynical, but that wasn’t the question.
I believe that Jon suffers from BDS and that sincere movement followers need to speak, first softly and then, if no corrective action is taken, loudly, when one of the movement leaders appears deranged. So, bottom line, is it better for me to walk the plank like Bithead or just slip over the side and disappear in the night? I’ll take one for the team.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Try here Harun.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
However, what is the message? Again, not good timing. Jon is in the clutches of the Kos-like Greenwald [probably Soros funded] movement (ably enabled by "Mona") and seems to be saying that all loyal neo-libertarians should get on board that “Impeachment Now” movement. Does the term "loose cannon" apply?
Bob. I’ve read some off-the-wall comments by you over the past few months… But, Wow! “clutches of the Kos-like Greenwald [probably Soros funded] movement (ably enabled by "Mona")”
Wow Mona,… You’re good.
“all loyal neo-libertarians should get on board that “Impeachment Now” movement.”
Loyal Neo-libertarians!? On board that impeachment now!?
Now, I log onto QandO pretty much daily, and I’ve never read Jon’s post about impeaching the President. Perhaps you’re unjustly suggesting nuance.
Putting neo-libertarians in bed with the radical left, as Jon is clearly advocating, may be a good long-term strategy, but if that is a good thing to do right now, it needs a much better set-up with the troops than it has received.
In bed with the radical left!? Are we reading the same site? I don’t suggest that you do a QandO search using the keywords “Howard” or “Dean”… I did that once and my computer crashed. And don’t get McQ started on lefties like George Clooney or Cindy Sheehan.
Is there a serious neo-libertarian movement going on here, or just a vanity site for you three and a chance to make some ad money by filling a niche?
Vanity site!? Have you seen the photos of Dale Franks in the Mickey Mouse ears?
I believe that Jon suffers from BDS and that sincere movement followers need to speak, first softly and then, if no corrective action is taken, loudly, when one of the movement leaders appears deranged.
Movement leaders!? BDS!?
If anyone is suffering from Bitterly Depressed Syndrome, it’s you. Bitterly depressed because Jon doesn’t fall in line with your way of thinking.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
GOODBYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEE (splash)
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Yawn...
Not to be catty (mewooooow), but sounds like an FR retread just fell overboard....

Remind me one more time, WHO pays for this site to be up?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Remind me one more time, WHO pays for this site to be up?
Just us guys and a few ads.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net

 
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