Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stop the Pork 

Congressman John Kline of MN's Second Congressional District (CD 2) has just completed a blogger conference call where he discussed his Stop the Pork initiative. The earmark/pork system was originally created to help states with special projects not expenditures like this one: The US House passed a bill that would spent $5 million to prevent the interstate sale of monkeys. John Kline voted against this one, thank you. But excuse me - monkeys? Our money for monkeys?

Ludicrous decisions like this one show the extent to which the earmark system has deteriorated. Funds now are totally dependent on party power and committee assignments; the definition of an earmark is unclear.

Starting in January of 2007, Republican Congressman John Kline refused earmarks. 11 other Congress members joined him. In 2008 the number increased to 50, from both parties. They were hoping to bring the issue to the entire US House but were stopped before they could begin by the Democrat "leadership" of Nancy Pelosi, Denny Hoyer and others. Net, even though there are Democrat house members who support a moratorium, the Democrat "leadership" refuses to even discuss the matter.

John Kline has had enough. He's begun a website, "Stop the Pork" where you can sign a petition to tell Congress, "Enough is enough." Please go here to sign. The goal is to obtain enough signatures to get Congress to stop all earmarks until standards can be designed and implemented.

Those who think we're not getting our fair share of the pork are missing the point - it's our money that goes to fund lighting in a fashion district in CA, olive fruit fly research in Paris, France, etc. It is up to us to take back our money.