Read this and tell me if this doesn't seem like Edwards just flat doesn't want to post his earmarks.. and if so, and he won't do it until AFTER they've passed.. why?
In response to calls for transparency, more than 70 members of Congress in recent weeks have made their wish lists for pet projects available for public inspection, but U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards says he doesn’t intend to join the pack.
Edwards, a Waco Democrat who has secured hundreds of millions of dollars for his Central Texas district during his 16-year career as a congressman, says he’s proud of the projects he works to fund with federal dollars and has nothing to hide. Once his requests for funding are approved by a vote in the House, his office will gladly disclose projects and the amount of funding he’s working to bring home, he said.
Um. Why's that. Why shouldn't every person be able to look at what other areas in the district want, BEFORE some are passed? We have to wait until after it's DONE to find out? That's democracy... HOW?
But publicizing what projects he’s pursuing before they come up for a vote could create confusion for constituents, he said.
“Out of every hundred requests on communities’ wish lists, maybe one gets funded,” he said. “I just think it would set up false expectations if people thought every road project, every economic development project that was requested was going to get funded. It might even lead to people making investment decisions based on wrong information.”
Sheesh. Well, then, why don't you prominently put on the wish list page that THESE ARE ONLY SUGGESTIONS THAT MAY NOT BE FUNDED. WARNING. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE INVESTMENT DECISIONS BASED ON THIS. Plus, frankly, his even saying that is HUGELY hypocritical. I have, on a number of occasions, seen press releases from his office touting something that is supposed to be coming to the district and it's been BEFORE it's actually been passed by the Senate or Bush signed it (or vetoed it). Memory lane not so far off- Edwards talking about Veteran money he's bringing back while Bush thumps his chest and hollers "Nope, I'm vetoing that". Would be better, wouldn't it, for there to be NO chest thumps done by anyone until the bill is actually passed... or not.
Plus, let's consider that other part about people getting disappointed that their own pet project wasn't funded. Won't they be Just As Disappointed when they find out AFTERWARDS that it wasn't passed? I mean, what's the difference? Does Edwards think people in his district aren't adults or that they *Can't Handle the Truth*?
If I were to do something comparable to that in my own life, one might wonder what I was trying to hide. This isn't like Christmas when you're a kid and you make up your wish list for Santa but you don't know which gifts you will actually get. And it isn't, reversing it, like you're Santa, with a whole bunch of boys and girls telling you what they want, but you'll make them wait till Christmas to find out if they get nothing or a big bonanza in their stockings. This is supposed to be OPEN GOVERNMENT and the people in the district requesting items are Big Boys and Girls.
And it isn't as if there aren't other Congressmen who are posting, online, their constituent's wish lists. There are, again, more than SEVENTY other Congressmen who are posting district wish lists on their site or through a media outlet
Edwards said halving the amount of earmarks awarded this year could make it more challenging for his requests to be honored. But he says he believes his seniority and position as chairman of the subcommittee over veterans and military construction spending will enable him to “fight effectively for our district.”
“My attitude is that all earmarks are not evil,” he said. “Earmarks improve our parks and provide jobs from L-3 (Communications) to the Waco (Veterans Affairs) hospital. What Congress must do is provide more public transparency for earmarks and cut out any projects that undermine public trust in the process.”
Hello! More public transparency. Did you HEAR what you yourself said?????
One more note for posting the wish list and that is that it isn't just at the district level but the local level. Suppose, for example, my local town or county has asked for something and those of us that live here don't know about it. If it were also out in the open, we'd have a chance to go back, at the local level and discuss why that particular earmark was being requested.
Edwards said his staff does their homework on the requests that community leaders and local elected officials pitch to him to ensure they’re legitimate, worthwhile projects.
This should be a PEOPLE's democracy, not merely Edward's staff that decides whether something is worthwhile. So much more for us that LIVE HERE to examine the earmarks if we choose to see if WE think they are legitimate, not just community leaders, etc etc.