DECEMBER 10, 2007
A Maryland congressman critical of Republicans for steering federal funds to pet projects (earmarking), is himself ranked among the nation’s top earmarkers and his allocations include nearly half a million taxpayer dollars for a campaign donor’s foundation.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer enthusiastically joined the pork-barrel spending cleanup bandwagon when Democrats took over Congress, but he remains one of the top culprits of the controversial practice of sneaking last-minute spending provisions into legislation.
In fact, Hoyer tucked nearly $100 million worth of pet projects into next year’s federal budget, making him among the top 10 earmakers in the House this year. Among his federal allocations is $450,000, inserted into a 2008 education spending bill, for a California-based foundation owned by a top campaign donor.
The nonprofit, called InTune, got a previous earmark in 2005 for nearly half a million dollars to supposedly develop lesson plans on funk music. InTune’s director, Eugene Maillard, just happens to be a valuable contributor to Hoyer’s campaign with at least $31,000 in donations in the last two years alone.
Hoyer also steered $2 million to a firm whose executive and employees were the biggest donors of the 2005-06 congressional cycle. The earmark was inserted in a defense spending bill recently signed into law and the federal money is supposedly to work on a project, that begun in 2002, at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
A nonprofit watchdog group annually compiles the information on the top pork spenders in Congress and ranks the lawmakers while providing a detailed list of the scandalous pet projects that receive taxpayer dollars.
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