Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has secured more earmarks in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill than any other Democrat except for Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). The fiscal year (FY) Defense Authorization Bill has $5.4 billion in earmarks, 26 of which were requested by Clinton, and which add up to a total of $148.4 million in federal spending. Clinton had previously secured 360 earmarks worth a combined $2.2 billion from 2002 to 2006 in all spending and authorization bills.
Some of Senator Clinton’s beneficiaries / contributers:
- Northrop Grumman – $6 million for the AN/SPQ-9B radar;
- Telephonics, – $5 million for a standardized aircraft wireless intercom system for the National Guard Black Hawk helicopter fleet;
- Plug Power Inc. – $3 million for fuel cell power technology;
- Alliant Tech Systems (ATK), – $3.5 million for the X-51 B robust scramjet research.
All of the above are New York based corporations with the exception of ATK which is based in Utah, though the division of ATK that would be doing the work is based in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
To be fair, these may all be worthwhile projects. They were not, however requested by the Pentagon or the Administration. They were added to be Defense Authorization Bill by Clinton without the provision for debate or review. The above listed earmarks total $17.5 million. The author has no idea what the remaining $130.9 million worth of earmarks Clinton added are slated for. Given that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)’s lone contribution the earmarks on the bill was for a Department of Education program for children with severe disabilities, the author is afraid to speculate.
Addendum: For a follow-up go here.