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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Simpson: Why I Submit Earmarks

This week, I will submit a list of Idaho-based projects to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration in Fiscal Year 2010. I am keenly aware that these project, or earmark, requests are seen by some as wasteful federal spending, and I understand fully that too many federal projects are indeed wasteful. I decided to write and publish this column in an effort to share with the people of Idaho not only the types of projects I put forward, but my reasons for doing so. I believe the most appropriate reform of the earmark system is not to ban them outright, but to expose them to the light of day and allow every American citizen a chance to see them and comment on them. I also want to be clear that the projects I am requesting represent only a portion of those submitted to me this year. Many did not make the cut/U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (pictured), Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Yesterday, new Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick said he wouldn't submit earmarks for possible appropriations. Simpson sees the benefit for Idaho to claim a share of the revenue. What about you? Should Minnick sidestep earmarks when the money will be spent elsewhere?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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