Today’s NYT editorial points out that The Pork King Keeps His Crown
The new earmark disclosure rules put into effect by Congress confirm the pre-eminence of Representative John Murtha at procuring eye-popping chunks of pork for contractors he helped put in business in Johnstown, Pa. The Pennsylvania Democrat, a power player on defense appropriations, exudes pride, not embarrassment, for delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in largesse to district beneficiaries. They, in turn, requite with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.
And he’s a king among a lot of royalty, too:
Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162 million in district favors, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. In all, eager members in both houses enacted 11,144 earmarks, worth $15 billion. Taxpayers may be inured to $113,000 for rodent control in Alaska or a million for Idaho’s weed management. Mr. Murtha’s universe is a far more complicated and costly creation of interlocking contractors who continue to feed at the public trough despite reviews questioning their performance.
Let’s not ignore the fact, as Jeff Emanuel points out, that
The top appropriators in the Senate were, sadly, Republicans, as was the second-leading Porker in the House.
They are Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) and Rep. Bill Young (Fla.).