I forgot I had this story in my email box. It's from May 2009 by Bloomberg News.
U.S. Representative Jim Marshall is a Georgia Democrat and a member of his party’s Blue Dog Coalition, a group of lawmakers bound by a desire to restrain federal spending. The Blue Dogs have something else in common: a fondness for funding pet projects.
Marshall alone requested more than $12 billion worth of the so-called earmarks in the 2010 federal budget. His proposals range from $388,850 to aid 14 local farmers’ markets to $4.2 billion to purchase C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft.
Overall, Blue Dogs submitted more than 2,500 individual earmarks totaling some $20 billion. That underscores the conflict between their eagerness to bring federal money home and the coalition’s criticism of the budget as laden with pork.
Formed after Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in 50 years, the Blue Dog Coalition organized around the idea that the party had moved too far to the left. The moniker reflects the feeling of some that their views had been “choked blue” by the Democrats’ liberal wing. The group today makes up almost 20 percent of the House Democratic membership.
Like many of the other 50 Blue Dogs in Congress, Marshall, 61, says that while he would support a ban on earmarks, he won’t swear them off until a prohibition is imposed.
“As long as they are going to have earmarks, I’m going to submit projects to get money,” Marshall, whose rural central Georgia district includes Robins Air Force Base, said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to cause the folks in my district to miss out just to make a point.”Amen brother Amen. All earmarks are not bad. Some of those earmarks are for a good cause like helping farmers & Robins, which is the economic engine not just for middle georgia, but for Houston County because without it, Houston Co would be nothing.