PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: The Hill reports that members of Congress aren't just keeping us in the dark -- they're also keeping each other ignorant:
House leaders have vowed to improve transparency in the earmarking system, whether or not Congress passes a broader lobbying reform law this year. But critics note that the proposed reforms would neither eliminate appropriations earmarks nor address the prevalence of earmarks in tax and authorization bills.
Scott Lilly, a former Democratic staff director for the Appropriations Committee who now works at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), argues that the lack of transparency stems from a desire among appropriators to keep their colleagues in the dark when it comes to the process for apportioning earmarks.
“If every member of the House has a complete listing of what every other member got, he can immediately begin to compare his standing in the institution, his support of the committee on key votes, and any other factor that might arguably serve as a basis for determining the distribution of earmarks with members of the House who got more than he or she did in earmarks,” Lilly wrote in a column posted on CAP’s website.