As we all know now, when the Senate voted to retain their earmark power, they weren’t fooling around. They packed billions in earmarks into the omnibus spending bill even though the nation’s fiscal situation is precarious, and in spite of November’s vote to knock off the spending shenanigans.
Let’s turn the tables and engage in a little crowdsourcing. Sen. Tom Coburn’s office has posted the entire list of earmarks in the Senate’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. All 6,715 line items are here — items like a cool million for broadband expansion in Vermont. $400,000 to create a “research park” in Florida. Millions in foreclosure modifications in several states. $200,000 for “streetscaping” in North Castle, NY. $500,000 for “streetscaping” in Indiana. $100,000 for “construction of a trail” in Pennsylvania. $250,000 for a lake trail in Texas. All of this and more, totaling about $8 billion, is in the database linked on this page.
So here’s where the crowdsourcing comes in. Take a look at the database, find your state, and if you happen to live near any of these pork projects, find out what you can about them. Get comment from your local senator’s office if you can. Check the local media for stories about it. Post what you find out either here in the comments, or on your own blog, and link it here in comments. Let’s turn up the heat on these bipartisan porkers.
Update: There are a couple of good twitter tags to follow on the earmarks, #omnibus and #earmarks.