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Political Fix: Local Politician’s Use of Earmarks Raises Concern


Aired 4/20/09

Maureen Cavanaugh: "So much for the process of change," that was Senator John McCain's assessment of the approximately $5.5 billion in earmarks incorporated into President Obama's $410 billion stimulus package.  The president says he's still committed to reducing the amount of pork-barrel spending done by individual members of Congress, but outside of Senator McCain and a few others, he's not getting much support in the effort to reform earmark spending.

That's because directing money to specific projects is a time-honored tradition in Congress and has kept many lawmakers in office for many years. Recently, however, the illegal abuse of earmark spending has led to the downfall of at least one local congressman and earmark abuse became a refrain in the last presidential election. Anyone remember hearing about the "bridge to nowhere?"

KPBS Political Correspondent Gloria Penner is here to discuss the pros and cons of earmark spending, and how much earmarking is going in our local congressional delegation.


  • Gloria Penner, political correspondent and host of Editors Roundtable on KPBS. You can read her weekly blog Political Fix on our website at

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