May 9, 2007

I HAVEN’T PAID AS MUCH ATTENTION TO THE PELOSI EARMARKS STORY as I should have, but Stephen Spruiell has a roundup. Excerpt:

For now, it appears that the problem is less with Pelosi’s disclosure on this particular earmark and more with the state of earmark reform in general. The Democrats swept into power making a lot of noise about cleaning up the “culture of corruption” in Washington. Earmark reform was a big part of their stated agenda. First, they put a “moratorium on earmarks” until new rules governing them could be put into place. Then the House passed new earmark-disclosure requirements. “It’s good that we’re even having this discussion about Pelosi’s earmark,” Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, tells NRO, “because now [thanks to new disclosure requirements] we know that she’s the one who asked for it.”

But that’s where Democrats left it. The House rules apply only to the House. The Senate lumped earmark reform into its ethics and lobbying bill, which is now languishing in conference and has yet to take effect. Nevertheless, the Democrats must think these half-measures constitute thorough earmark reform, because the moratorium is long gone. The Water Resources Development Bill contains, along with Pelosi’s earmark, more than 800 others. Perhaps the most egregious is a provision to add sand to a California beach famous for its annual sandcastle competition.

The Democrats campaigned as a party that would clean up Washington. But the water-development bill, exemplified by Pelosi’s earmark, is nothing if not Beltway business as usual.

Meet the new boss, yada yada.

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