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Eye On Boise

New Ward ad says banning earmarks and bailouts is ‘only way’ to fix federal spending

In a new TV commercial airing across the 1st Congressional District, GOP candidate Vaughn Ward says "the only way to stop reckless spending" by the federal government is to "end government bailouts and ban earmarks." The campaign ad, Ward's second of the campaign and the first to hit the North Idaho airwaves in the race, is prompting some discussion, both about how Ward and others would approach congressional earmarks, and about whether ending earmarks and bailouts would really solve the federal budget problem.

"I think it's a critical way and a very important way - whether it's the only way I guess is debatable," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan balanced-budget group in Washington, D.C. "From our perspective, those are important areas to tackle, but there are other areas that we're going to have to look at." The Concord Coalition, an influential bipartisan balanced-budget advocacy group based in Arlington, Va., takes a different tack. "Bailouts and earmarks are a very, very, very small part of the problem," said Josh Gordon, policy director for the coalition. "The real federal budget problem is a long-term imbalance between spending and revenue." You can read my full story here at, and watch the new campaign commercial here.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.