Election Eve Jolt: The Final Word on Earmarks

By Afternoon Jolt November 1, 2010

Dino Rossi was out campaigning this morning in Vancouver. He was waving signs with supporters on the I-205 overpass near Mill Plain Blvd.

If it was anything like a typical Rossi campaign stop, it's likely he blasted federal earmarks. It's something he's been talking about for months—he says they corrupt the budget process and spike the federal deficit.

Well, just like some of Rossi's other recent campaign stops (a shipyard on Whidbey Island that got $800,000 in federal stimulus money and a telecom infrastructure company in Sumner that got $238,000 in Obama loans), the very bridge Rossi was standing on got  $3 million from Sen. Murray in 2003—an earmark for improvements to the very bridge Rossi stood on this morning.

The earmark was one of many Murray secured in the '03 budget, including $3 million for law enforcement to fight meth labs, $3 million for a transit center in Vancouver, and $6 million for a bridge over the Cowlitz River.

Murray said at the time:

"In the face of significant cuts, I am pleased to have maintained this critical federal funding for our state's urgent transportation, health care, and education needs," Senator Murray said. "I know this increased federal support will make a real difference for families and communities in our region. We must do all that we can to keep jobs and businesses in Washington state," Murray continued.

Earmarks make up about 1 percent of the federal budget.
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