You want the truth...

Posted: Aug 07, 2007 6:36 PM
Early in the morning on Sunday, as we were finishing up amendments on the Defense Appropriations bill, I debated an earmark challenge with the Chairman of the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, Congressman John Murtha (D-PA). The earmark allocated $2 million to Sherwin-Williams Paint Company to develop what they described as a "paint shield to protect against microbial attacks." As the sponsor of the amendment, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) did not come down to defend her earmark. The defense was left to Congressman Murtha.

Here is a link to this brief debate, now keep in mind all I wanted to know was:

1) Is this project requested by the Department of Defense? The correct answer is NO.

2) Is this a project that was competitively bid among other potential suppliers? The correct answer again is NO.

3) Will the taxpayer own the rights to any successful product developed? Again, the correct answer, according to Sherwin-Williams’ own brochure for this project is NO.

4) How do we know that this particular company is the best supplier? There are many great paint companies in America, how do we know that Sherwin-Williams is the right company to do this job? Answer never given.

5) What investigations have they done to ensure that this is the right price? Is $2 million just an arbitrary amount? Answer never given.

For those of us in Congress fighting to reform our earmark process, this video is a good example of where we need to start.