Thursday, April 3, 2008

Boyda Holds Line on Earmark Reform; Joins Republican Call for Moratorium

Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's efforts to reform earmarks is well documented, both by this blog and by the mainstream media. She's lead the effort to make the process more transparent, and she has already voted for the most significant reforms to the process in a generation.

The earmark system was corrupt, unaccountable, and in desperate need of reform.

In principle, earmarks allow Members of Congress to devote funds to projects that are important to their district – and representatives can better judge their districts’ needs than some bureaucrat on the fourth floor of a Washington office building. I want to make sure that Kansas taxpayers are getting their fair share of funds returning to Kansas projects – research at our universities, investment in our infrastructure and growth at our military bases.

In January of last year, the House of Representatives passed rules requiring every earmark enacted into law to include the name of its sponsor. What's more, representatives must now sign a sworn declaration that they have no financial stake in their earmarks.

Under these new, more transparent rules, the total cost of earmarks in the 2008 federal budget dropped by 42% – the first decline in a decade.
Boyda provides her constituents with a list of every earmark request her office has made so they can see for themselves what kind of priorities she has for their money. That groundbreaking step is excellent progress in itself, but significantly more needs to be done...if only because something as simple as making the list of earmark requests public isn't required, it's obvious the process is still in desperate need of reform. (To date Sens. Sam Brownback & Pat Roberts, along with Reps. Todd Tiahrt & Jerry Moran have not followed Boyda's lead, just an FYI).

So, with that further need for reform in mind, Congresswoman Boyda and eight other Democrats joined with members of the minority party in support of a moratorium on earmarks- until further reforms can be put into place.

This is the second time (we believe, it might have been more) Congresswoman Boyda has joined the call for a moratorium on earmarks, and for a second time members of both parties prevented it from occurring.

Most earmarks aren't pork, and most earmarks are necessary projects, but we agree the process needs to be as open and as transparent as possible. Congresswoman Boyda's effort are commendable, and exactly what her district expects from their Member of Congress.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boyda has no conscience. What a hypocrite. On the heels of an AP story naming her as the top pork getting Democrat freshman, she pulls this. I don't think I have ever seen someone flip flop so much on so many issues.

Anonymous said...

OH...MY....WORD!!! Are you serious?!?!? On 3/6, 3/7, 3/20 and 3/26 (a week ago!!!), this site mocked Jim Ryun for leading the way and calling the earmark process broken, and vowing to refrain from earmarks until it was fixed. He acknowledged requesting earmarks in the past, but claimed the system was broken and needed fixing before it would be appropriate to accept earmark funding. This site mocked him and said he wouldn't be doing his job.

NOW...after apparently running a poll, Boyda too decides that "the system is broken and needs fixing" and that she too would swear off earmarks.

There's MORE...she says that, but ISN'T giving them up. Because the vote didn't pass.

After getting past the hypocrisy of it all, I would note that she voted for the moratorium while continuing to request earmarks. Nothing like refusing to lead by example.

Gee whiz, if she thinks Kansans can't see past this amazing display of trying to have her cake and eat it to, she has another thing coming. I am constantly amazed at the flip-flopping.

Anonymous said...

first off, yahoos, she's voted for a moratorium before.

secondly, the system needs reform, just like this blog and boyda has said over and over again.

ryun's the hypocrite for just, you know ignoring the problem for 10 years and THEN deciding it's a problem. at least boyda has always thought it was one.

Anonymous said...

boyda's doing the right thing with her earmark requests by making them public...she voted for a moratorium because no one is following her good example.

AllyK said...

ok... so what ya'll clearly don't understand is what the earmark reform is. Now .. if either of you are working for a candidate I suggest that you read up so that you understand this issue.

1. Earmark reform is for back scratching earmarks. See: the highway to nowhere.

There is a huge difference from bringing back money to one's state that is rightfully theirs. Federal dollars are to be allocated to the states (See "federalism") and money allocated to one's friends or relatives or campaign contributors.

2. Boyda's earmarks are not allocated to specific contracts, corporations, or people that are contributors to her campaign or associated with her campaign.

A good example of someone who IS would be Lynn Jenkins's state contract she gave to someone who had contributed to her campaign. See here

This kind of legislation is part of the lobbying reform done after the downfalls in the last several years.

What this blog has done is talk about Jim Ryun's lack of bringing ANY pork back to kansas across the board - corrupt or not he doesn't bring money back. Not because he hates Kansas but because he doesn't not believe that is part of his job evidently. Its unclear whether he thinks that those funds should only be available to the federal government or if they should just be sent in lump sums to the governor.

Boyda brings federal dollars back for public services like infrastructure, police departments, and a number of allocations to the military bases in the district.

If you're saying here that she is a hypocrite or if you are alluding to the fact that she is corrupt for bringing this money back are you saying that police departments and our military bases do not deserve these funds? Or that there is something wrong with a member (any member whether its Ryun or Boyda) bringing these funds to these sources?

Now... that said, if Boyda gets funds for a project that directly benefits her own income, gives a contract to a friend, family member, or campaign contributor then I think there should be an investigation done.

This is not that situation and none of you seem to understand this issue enough to speak about it in a professional, logical, or clearly informed way. I don't mind spending time explaining things to people. I'm happy to educate folks about an issue. But please, before you comment, before you sling insults, and attack, please bring facts and understand what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Ally, I think I love you. Will you marry me?

Anonymous said...

Or she could follow the even better example of John McCain and not request them at all. Making your earmarks public does not make them a good idea.

Anonymous said...

earmarks are good things, stupid republicans.

This blog is not affiliated in any way with the Kansas Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, or the campaign to re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. All commentary herein not directly attributed must be considered the opinion of the authors of this blog and not of any other individual, including Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.