THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE: Campbell Rails against Congressional SpendingU.S. Rep. John Campbell has long been an outspoken critic of what he views as irresponsible spending in Congress. Now he has joined forces with a taxpayer watchdog group to promote the latest edition of a book highlighting some of the most blatant congressional spending transgressions.
Campbell is releasing the 2008 edition of the “Citizens Against Government Waste’s Congressional Pig Book” on his website. Citizens Against Government Waste has been releasing its annual exposé of what it views as wasteful spending for the past 18 years. The new version of the book is available in PDF format at www.campbell.house.gov.
“I applaud the Citizens Against Government Waste for once again releasing this outstanding report, which shines a spotlight on the most egregious pork-barrel spending in our nation’s capitol,” Campbell said in a written statement. “It’s time this Congress listens to the cries of the American people to reign in runaway spending, and to create more accountability and transparency in our federal government.”
Campbell is one of 38 members of the House of Representatives — four Democrats and 34 Republicans — who have voluntarily taken a pledge to halt their requests for congressional earmarks, according to his website. Earmarks typically are elements of a spending bill that ask for money for a specific project. Critics of the process label earmarks as pork-barrel spending and say lawmakers abuse earmarks to curry favor in their districts by funding frivolous projects.
Some recent earmarks criticized by Campbell and Citizens Against Government Waste include $211,509 for olive fruit fly research in Paris; $196,000 for the renovation and transformation of a historic post office in Las Vegas; $188,000 for the Lobster Institute in Maine; and $148,950 for the Montana Sheep Institute.
Citizens Against Government Waste found 11,610 separate projects in 12 appropriations bills it claims are examples of pork barrel spending in the 2008 fiscal year. This marks the second highest total ever of pork projects, totaling $17.2 billion, according to the group.