Even more troubling is that this incident led to the new Democrat majority not allowing any earmarks to be vetted or debated in the process of working on spending bills. Clearly this is a step backwards that takes us back to the image of secret deals in dark smoke-filled rooms.
This incident in the people's house highlighted an arrogance of power at its worse. Both political parties are guilty.
Earmarks should not be decided in the dark. Every dollar the federal government spends should be vetted, offered in a transparent way, and open for debate. If we turn the lights on the earmark process, we can work to protect Americans against the abuse that has brought us considerable misuse of the public's hard-earned dollars. No more bridges to nowhere. No more $100 hammers. No more rainforests in Iowa. And no more spending of billions in taxpayer funds without full disclosure.
In this time of economic hardship in our state, no dollar can be wasted. Transparency and accountability are crucial to keeping America and Michigan fiscally healthy. We need to turn the lights on and change the way Congress does business with the people's pocketbook.
Setting aside Rep. Rogers' spotty history on open government legislation for a moment, I actually think this is a noble effort that's worth pursuing. The people do have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent.
So, I wrote Mike Rogers a letter...
I just read Rep. Rogers Op-Ed from Friday's Lansing State Journal, and wanted to send my compliments to the Congressman for taking such a strong stand against earmarks. I especially agree with this statement: "Every dollar the federal government spends should be vetted, offered in a transparent way, and open for debate." Rep. Rogers, could you please lead the way by disclosing every earmark you have ever requested in Congress? If we are going to "turn the lights on the earmark process," as you suggest, I believe your constituents deserve to know what earmarks you have placed in legislation during your career in Washington. Thanks for your time. I look forward to your response.
Some of you may remember that Mike Rogers actually wrote me back the last time I submitted an email to his office. We'll see if I get a response this time. Hopefully I won't have to wait another three months to hear back from him.