I have been an outspoken critic of earmarks, and I frequently blog about some of the most egregious ones on this very blog, but this story by Sheryl Attkisson, from CBS Evening News perfectly articulates why earmarks are unfair and why the system must be reformed.
Attkisson highlights the relationship between Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Randy Best, founder of the “Voyager” reading program. In 2001, Sen. Landrieu earmarked $2 million of taxpayer funds to put the “Voyager reading program” in D.C. public schools.
Mr. Best, the company’s founder, soon arranged a fundraiser for Sen. Landrieu, widely viewed as the most endangered Democratic Senator up for reelection this year, which raised roughly $30,000 for Landrieu’s reelection war chest. These donations came from Best’s family, friends, and employees.
Attkisson notes that there are hundreds if not thousands of similar programs and companies out there offering the same or similar product which highlights the fact that this earmark was not competitively bid, and most earmarks are never competitively bid.
To see the whole areticle by Attkisson. Click Here