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Huffington Post: Delusion on the Hill? The Earmark Puzzle

May 17, 2010
News Article
The House Committee on Ethics released its report
last month exonerating 7 Members of Congress from the charge that they had traded earmark requests for campaign contributions. The investigation had "covered more than 40 companies ... and more than 25 Member offices." The Committee staff was said to have reviewed close to 250,000 documents. But while the Committee found "a widespread perception among corporations and lobbyists that campaign contributions provide enhanced access to Members or a greater chance of obtaining earmarks" -- including many "instances of companies questioning why they had not obtained an earmark after making substantial campaign contributions to Members" -- these experts, the Committee tells us, are apparently delusional. There is no quid pro quo. "Simply because a Member sponsors an earmark for an entity that also happens to be a campaign contributor does not, on these two facts alone," the Committee instructs us, like a school-marmish defense attorney lecturing a jury, "support a claim that a Member's actions are being influenced by campaign contributions." [READ MORE]