Wash. Post article on earmarks quoted Stevens but not prior Post report that Stevens' earmarks are being investigated

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

An October 12 Washington Post article by staff writers John Solomon and Matthew Mosk headlined, "Earmarks Put Candidates On the Spot," reported that "Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) co-sponsored a little-noticed proposal to require the Pentagon to spend $2 million on brain trauma research for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan." Solomon and Mosk reported that "[t]he earmark faced stiff opposition on the Senate floor last year," and noted that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) "said directing the funds to the University of Chicago would circumvent the normal process by which the National Institutes of Health hands out research funds." But the article did not mention that, according to an August 1 Post article by staff writers Paul Kane and Dan Eggen headlined "FBI Probes Stevens's Earmark": "The FBI is investigating whether Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) used a $1.6 million congressional appropriation to help an Alaska marine center purchase property from a business partner of the senator's son, said sources familiar with the probe." The August 1 Post article added: "The FBI and the Interior Department's inspector general are also jointly examining a series of budgetary earmarks endorsed by Stevens in recent years for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward."

In his August 17, 2006, column, syndicated conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote about Stevens' objection to Obama's earmark, and said that "Stevens, as a reigning king of pork, cracking down on earmarking is drenched in irony."

From the October 12 Washington Post article:

Just a few months before he joined the presidential race, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) co-sponsored a little-noticed proposal to require the Pentagon to spend $2 million on brain trauma research for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The beneficiary of the Aug. 2, 2006, earmark from him and Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) was undeniably close to home: the University of Chicago, where his wife, Michelle, worked as the university hospital's vice president for community and external affairs.

Earlier this year, Obama made dozens of additional earmark requests, and -- consistent with his position that such requests be transparent -- he publicly disclosed the beneficiaries. More than half a dozen requests were meant for clients of a lobbying and law firm whose partners have donated more than $38,000 to Obama in the past two years.

[...]

The earmark faced stiff opposition on the Senate floor last year. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), then the Appropriations Committee chairman, said directing the funds to the University of Chicago would circumvent the normal process by which the National Institutes of Health hands out research funds.

"For this to be earmarked here, now, means they no longer have to compete," Stevens said of the university. "The program [NIH has] for allocating money, I think, should not be obviated by an earmark here on the floor." The spending proposal was eventually set aside.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.