Response to solicitation of funds

Mr. Trump,

Please remove me from any and all lists associated with your campaign.

I will not contribute to your campaign, nor to any group associated with you: Including the political party formerly known as the GOP.

If you need money, please ask those “small donors” to whom you are already beholden. Sheldon Adelson, for example.

As you Tweeted last October:
“Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015″

Or, beg the hated RNC.

I’d also appreciate a review of contributions in kind from media like Fox News. Maybe you can release your estimate along with your tax returns.

I am disinterested in bankrolling your threatened anti-Chicago Cubs ads and your “Little Miss Stompy Foot” feud with the Club for Growth. I will have nothing to do with a “finance expert” who so misinterprets the word fungible that he will fund Planned Parenthood, in any way, with taxpayer dollars. As if this accounting gimmick can force separation of dollar one from dollar 500,000.

I’m not attracted to a candidate whose frugality argument is that he can spend my money better than the Democrats have, better than Republicans would, and CERTAINLY better than I could.

As to Crooked Hillary’s “rigged system of crony handouts,” you’ve bragged about having been a recipient of said handouts, and are deeply complicit in that very system.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,
Duane Hershberger
#NeverTrump

P.S., You misspelled “Yuuge.”

On May 31, 2016, at 2:07 PM, Team TRUMP wrote:

Make American Great Again

Our country doesn’t win anymore, Duane.

We are losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China. Mexico is beating us at the border and on trade.

It feels like every day in the news another company is leaving our great nation. We are losing millions of jobs, and it is time for this to STOP.

This will all change when Donald Trump is elected President. We will start winning again.

We are going to start winning so much that you are going to get used to winning!

Donald Trump went the entire primary without asking a single person for a penny, because he was not beholden to anyone but YOU – the American people.

But here’s the problem: Crooked Hillary and her cronies are raising $2 billion to try to stop us.

That’s why we are asking you to contribute $35 and become a Founding Member of our campaign: https://secure.trump2016.com/founding-member/

Crooked Hillary is scared to death of us. Our movement threatens her rigged system of crony handouts and bad deals that have cost the American people millions!

She’s pulling in as many special interests and media elites as she can.

But Donald Trump doesn’t want ANY of them.

You’re the only person we would ever want on our team. Our campaign is a movement of the American people – NO ONE else.

Please contribute $35 right now to activate your Founding Membership with our campaign.

While our Party is ready to unite, Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over a socialist and a serial liar under investigation by the FBI.

We have a HUGE opportunity to win!

We don’t want to just defeat Crooked Hillary, we want to CRUSH the Democrats at every level.

We want to win in a massive landslide. We want our victory to be so great that Crooked Hillary and Obama regret the day they ever turned their backs on the American people.

Together, we will win this election and Make America Great Again!

Please join us today using this special link: [deleted]

Thank you and God bless you,

Team Trump

"Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Priest?" -Henry II, 1170

This Kimberly Strassel piece documents the most recent behavioral conditioning of the IRS: To regard the words “tea party” as Winston Smith regarded rats. Read it, and see why things haven’t much changed since 1170, or 1949; when Smith was the protagonist in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Nobody had to give any direct order to even barely conscious union members astute employees of the IRS (EPA, OSHA, et. al.) whose self-interest is so exquisitely aligned with that of Big Government politicians.

Read the Strassel piece, but I must note this particularly risible quote from the man heading the most opaque administration since FDR; and who employed Richard Windsor Lisa Jackson, still employs Eric Holder and just promoted Susan Rice: “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.” -Barack Obama, 2010
(How can I fit a reference to Lois Lerner in here? Oh.)

The Democrat harping on mysterious “foreign contributers” is hard to take from a guy who accepted credit card donations from anywhere; not bothering to employ simple, and standard, ways to prevent such illegal donations.

On the NSA surveillance of every phone number ever dialed, and where and for what every credit card is used: No doubt this is a result of the Patriot Act – i.e., Big Government under George Bush. Seriously, it’s what Big Government does. George and Barack are just following the lead of Woodrow and Franklin. And Henry, of course, but we did break with That Sort of overreach circa 1776.

George Orwell labeled one manifestation of this tendency “Thought Police.” Many other things were illegal in Orwell’s Oceania, you’d be surprised by the similarities.

While what the Obama Administration has done with the NSA appears ‘legal’ to me, the president is certainly open to the charge of hypocrisy. George McGovern didn’t whine so much about Constitutional violations as did Senator Obama.

Obama’s hypocrisy, however, isn’t the point. The point is that Big Government will unfailingly use whatever powers it has to increase the power it has – whoever is in charge. None of these scandals are failures of our current system, they are the system. None of it is overreach, it’s how serfs are treated.

This is the simple point the tea party has been politely making. It’s why they were targeted.

Coincidence?

Probably, but it would not be surprising if true.

RED ALERT: Did anti-Obama campaign contributions dictate which Chrysler dealers were shuttered?

A cursory review … showed that many of the Chrysler dealers on the closing list were heavy Republican donors.

To quickly review the situation, I took all dealer owners whose names appeared more than once in the list. And, of those who contributed to political campaigns, every single one had donated almost exclusively to GOP candidates. While this isn’t an exhaustive review, it does have some ominous implications if it can be verified.

More here.

None may be discontributionized

In line with their own campaign staff illegal registrations and a coziness with ACORN and its decade spanning voter registration frauds under the rubric of ensuring no voter is disenfranchised, the official position of Barack Obama’s campaign appears to be that illegal campaign contributions are all in the eye of the beholder. For example, they may well argue, a person named Jgtj Jfggjjfgj probably views it that way.

Obama’s website has* all credit card verification procedures turned off for campaign contributions. The default is “On,” you have to turn it off deliberately. When you do, many wonderful things happen. You can accept contributions from Della Ware, John Galt, and Jgtj Jfggjjfgj. These fictitious people, though actual donors, may submit any address whatsoever, including foreign countries or Second Life.

Obama’s people claim they vet the legality of their donors after the contributions are made. The effectiveness of this technique is demonstrated by a pair of donors noted at the New York Times: “Derty West” and “Derty Poiiuy.” They both live at “rewq, ME” and are both employed by “Qwertyyy.” They even do the same job – “Qwerttyyu.”

This is a fine example of the ethical acuity of Chicago machine politics, because it shows how to facilitate anonymous, falsely sourced or foreign contributions while simultaneously evading contribution limits. All of that is illegal, of course. It’s why an honest person would not disable credit card verification. An honest person would not want to encourage illegal campaign contributions. An honest, prudent person would not turn off an effective verification system and assume the costs of vetting contributions themselves unless they were convinced they could do a superior job. As we’ve seen, this ideal is unrealized. Obama had good intentions, though: No one should be discontributionized.

The McCain campaign does not knowingly encourage such donations. They did not turn off the credit card verification system.

Commenter stevieray at thenextright.com sums it up:

“…Obama’s system doesn’t care what name is used, only that the credit card number is valid.

Obama’s system doesn’t care what address is used, only that the credit card number is valid.

Obama’s system doesn’t care if the security number is valid, it doesn’t even ask for it.

Federal law limits the amount anyone can give to the campaign, and requires the campaign to keep track of the donors and report the info to the feds.

Obama cannot report his donors accurately, because he can’t prove who gave ANY of the money to his campaign.

Every report he sent to the FEC is a fraud.

He can’t prove ANYBODY is below the limit, because he doesn’t know. His system made sure of that.”

A good summary of how this was discovered and has been documented may be found here.

Oh well, just another failure you can chalk up to the good intentions and false promise of McCain-Feingold. Strictly enforced donor disclosure requirements would have prevented it.

*Or had, there are reports credit card verification has been reinstated after this fraud-hole was discovered – proving they knew what they had done.

How John McCain can get my vote

Here’s the speech that would do it.

My friends, I am here today to announce what will be certainly be described in the media as flip-flops so stunning as to send a tingle up both Chris Matthews’ legs – and his notochord, since “spine” would be an overstatement.

I have examined the results of my efforts to remove the appearance of corruption from politics, and I find them to have been an abject failure. I see now that McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulation is an intolerable violation of the First Amendment. Worse, like other well intended leftist policies, its effect has been exactly opposite to the intent.

After my defeat in the 2000 North Carolina primary, I wanted to “clean up” politics by suppressing lying in advertising; as if protecting people who believe everything they hear was the job of government, rather than simply being impossible. Instead, I enabled a labyrinthine industry of 527(c) and 501(c) issue-based lobbying groups not subject to any easily accessible scrutiny.

For example, George Soros continues to pump vast sums of money into issue advertising, including such despicable ads as the attack on General Petreaus in the New York Times.

My friends, is this sort of attempt to affect public policy NOT lobbying? Was its genesis NOT secretive? Does it not appear corrupt?

I’ll bet you didn’t know Soros put a lot of money into 527s and 501s that lobbied for campaign finance restrictions. The Reform Institute, which I founded in 2001 as an unofficial arm of my campaign for president, was one beneficiary. I know now that I should have put the Constitution before my desire to be elected President. More information on this disguised lobbying initiative/campaign staffing ploy can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.

You have probably asked yourself why someone like George Soros, who freely spends his vast fortune on political messages, should be vitally concerned about restricting others from spending a pittance. I know now that I should have asked that. I didn’t. I’m sorry, and I’m ashamed. When I’m ashamed, as in the Keating affair; or pissed off, as in North Carolina, I make very serious commitments to correct things. If I can logically connect ashamed with pissed off, look out. McCain-Feingold was an attempt to assuage my guilt and ire in these cases respectively. That’s why it’s taken me so long to recognize what a mistake it was.

I am proposing that all restrictions on campaign finance be removed in favor of an absolute, complete, detailed and immediate disclosure of funding sources. Let the ads run. Let us know exactly who is paying for them. No cover in “foundations” or other bundling organizations.

For example, if T. Boone Pickens finances Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, it should be known immediately. If he runs ads where he promotes a project he says will be “financed by private funds,” it should be revealed that he is in fact lobbying for billions in government funding that will result in what can truly be described as windfall profits for a Pickens-owned energy company in which the Speaker of the House has herself invested hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If he wants to build windmills with private money, supposedly like Nancy Pelosi’s, why is he running ads costing millions instead of simply building windmills and proving his thesis? Pickens is mounting a major advertising campaign because he’s lobbying for government assistance to build infrastructure in support of windpower, while simultaneously promoting the use of Pickens-supplied natural gas for automotive uses. One consequence of this would be to raise the price of heating your home. He doesn’t mention that.

If he wants to extract more natural gas, why did he ever say “[W]e can’t drill our way out of this.”? If we pay for the infrastructure Pickens wants, we should get at least as many shares of CLNE as did the Speaker of the House.

Frankly, such transparency is coming to pass anyway, as more and more investigative work is undertaken by a handful of so-called bloggers. Access to such information might as well be made easy for the average disinterested, Google-challenged American, and it might as well have some teeth making sure we find out when Jack Abramoff or Norman Hsu, or Ted Stevens or Nancy Pelosi are up to no good.

As to public campaign financing, my opponent has demonstrated that there is no practical limit to the campaign funding that may be achieved by an attractive and energizing candidate. Celebrity aside, however, the willingness to participate in public financing of Presidential campaigns (on which Senator Obama has anyway flip-flopped) is no measure of worth. Public campaign finance is a bad idea whose time has obviously passed. Without public financing, all candidates would have to appeal for support rather than taxing supporters and opponents alike. I say this knowing that, for me, it would have been disastrous in this election cycle. I probably would have reversed my position on campaign finance even earlier.

While we’re at it, recent events in Georgia have convinced me on grounds of both environmental protection and national security that it is not an option for the United States to arbitrarily prevent drilling in ANY location where private industry might recover fossil fuel of any kind. It’s not that we should allow drilling in ANWR, it’s mandatory that we drill there. The Russian invasion of Georgia has caused more damage to the environment, and to innocent people, than oil extraction has in the last 50 years while they simultaneously threaten to take complete control of vast amounts of oil. Meanwhile the Chinese are drilling just off Cuba.

In exchange for opening all of the United States for oil drilling and an expedited regulatory approval process; all subsidies to oil companies will cease. Some may call this a tax increase. I call it a reduction in corporate welfare. We’ll get out of your way. You get out of our pockets. As a bonus, you’ll save a lot on lobbyists’ salaries.

If Big Ethanol wants to take note of that, I have no objection. I’m calling for an immediate elimination of tariffs on Brazilian ethanol and cessation of all subsidies to domestic ethanol production. To eliminate the actual corruption represented by ethanol industry lobbyists, ethanol production will no longer receive any subsidies; through protectionist tariffs or in the form of tax breaks. There will be nothing to lobby for.

In closing, I am fully aware that several other positions I have taken, notably on global warming and the treatment of illegal immigrants, will still not sit well with many voters. Well, them’s the breaks. What I can tell you is that, unlike my opponent, I will never subordinate the interests of the United States to either of these things. In terms of implementation of actual legislation in those areas, you can read into that what you will. Take comfort in the fact that the phrases “global warming” and “climate change” appear nowhere in the GOP platform.

My judgment is not always perfect, as I have just now acknowledged. But, as far as change goes, I can do it when I see good reason for it.

I have changed my positions because they proved not to be in the interests of the United States. I will not change positions in the interest of making other countries like us more. That vastly distinguishes me from my opponent. So, I hope you will vote for John McCain in November, because the alternative is obviously the greater of two evils.

That’s straight talk. Thank you, and God preserve America.

Can you say "Petard?"

Barack Obama may have just killed campaign finance reform as we know it by refusing to participate in government financed government. He won’t be taking any money paid in taxes to run his campaign. Good for him. It looks great on John McCain.

John’s guys say it’s fine, too.

“We think $85 million in public funding for the general election is plenty,” McCain’s general counsel, Trevor Potter, said.

Suuure you do. Obama is likely to have $400 million. This “$85 million is plenty” stuff is just whistling past the graveyard where your own freshly chiseled headstone is standing behind an open grave.

For Obama to blame McCain for Obama’s own flip on this is clearly disingenuous, but it just tickles me to see McCain’s own petard exploding beneath him. It’s his own ICD (Improvised Censorship Device) that got him. And he’s not even getting any credit for the morality play he thinks he’s playing lead in: It’s all McCain’s fault that Obama can’t take public funds, you see, and ACORN and George Soros and MoveOn don’t count:

McCain is “not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations,” Obama said.

McCain has decried the spending and attack ads by such groups and has promised to speak out against those campaigning on behalf of Republicans.

Ah yes, speaking out against those campaigning on behalf of Republicans is what you do very well, John. I hear you, so don’t be concerned I’ll make the mistake.

“Anyone who believes they could assist my campaign by exploiting a loophole in campaign-finance laws is doing me and our country a disservice,” McCain said in November.

Au contraire, John, they’re doing us all a favor by sticking your own pet cause where it belongs. You’re the guy who already tried to stop anti-Obama ads in North Carolina. See what it’s gotten you? Alienated Republicans. And while you continue to “reach out,” you’re gonna be outspent 5 to 1 by a loophole exploiter. You go, John. And take Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, Lindsey Graham, Michael Bloomberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Lincoln Chafee, Christopher Shays and Vernon Ehlers with you.

Not that Obama thinks Campaign Finance Reform is a bad idea (and why would he, since it’s his opponent who’s stuck in it). It’s good for other people, however.

Obama acknowledged, however, that other candidates are not likely to be able to be as successful attracting small donors as he has been, so he still supports campaign finance reform.

Tell it to George Soros, Barack, and then run attack ads against McCain in all 50 States. He’ll soon be pining for the civility of the 2000 North Carolina primary.

Obama’s campaign today released its first general-election television advertisement and said it will be broadcast in some traditionally Republican states, such as Alaska, North Dakota and Montana, as well as battlegrounds such as Florida.

The only thing tempering my enthusiam here is that after Obama is annointed elected, he’ll have a whole new set of ideas about how to gut the First Amendment. Then I’ll be pining for the days of the current FECless regulations.

Ezra Levant 9 AHRC 0

One can hope that public exposure of Ezra Levant’s interrogation by the Alberta Human Rights Commission will produce the revulsion these Star Chambers deserve.

If you haven’t been following this, the first 7 video segments are linked here: Proceedings of the Alberta “Human Rights” Commission

Ezra’s comments are worthy of an Ayn Rand novel. You should watch all the videos he’s posted. Here are links to the latest 2 videos of this travesty:

Violating their own policies, ignoring their own procedures

My closing argument

This is the best view you’re going to get of the genteel Stalinism of a society obsessed by multi-culturalism and political correctness until you’re called before our Federal Elections Commission to explain some post on your blog. It is creepy to watch Officer McGovern, not because she is personally scary, but because she so facile a functionary of totalitarianism.

Make no mistake, there is no difference in principle between this bland Canadian functionary asking a magazine publisher’s “intent” in publishing some cartoons and our Federal Elections Commission asking a blogger to prove his speech was not a political contribution. No difference. In both cases it is supression of legimate political speech. In Canada they’re at least honest enough to let anyone initiate the censorship, here we only do it for congressional incumbents.

Don’t need your damn help

McCain Disavows Group Trying to Help His Campaign

It seems that a group set up as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation is advertising on behalf of the Senator’s presidential campaign. A 501(c) is allowed gather unlimited sums without naming its donors*, so whenever you hear McCain use the word “disclosure” in this context, he is being a hypocrite.

John McCain created this problem via his advocacy of Campaign Finance “Reform.” He’s being bitten by his own flawed law, which drove money into 501(c)s, and it looks good on him. I’m tempted to send a buck or two to the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America myself, except McCain is the last person in any party for whom I would vote.

Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, wrote on Monday to donors to Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign, saying: “I hope you will refrain from involving yourself with the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America. While not illegal, this group’s efforts certainly violate the spirit of reform and disclosure for which John McCain has fought over the past decade.”

That spirit being suppression of First Amendment rights in favor of incumbents. McCain thinks those rights require further restriction.

The letter came on the heels of a statement from Mr. McCain in which he said, “I ask all of my donors and supporters, including Mr. Reed [former McCain media strategist and founder of the 501(c) in question], to cease and desist immediately from supporting any independent expenditures that might be construed as benefiting my campaign indirectly.”

He added, “I will not win this election, nor would I want to win it, by acquiescing in anyone’s attempt to put my campaign before my principles.”

Unfortunately, Senator, these ARE your principles. Let us hear more from George Will about McCain-Feingold’s Wealth of Hypocrisy:

Congress is less divided by partisanship than it is united by devotion to the practice of protecting incumbents. Doing this with, for example, the bipartisan embrace of spending “earmarks” is routinely unseemly. But occasionally, incumbent protection is also unconstitutional.

It was in 2002, when Congress was putting the final blemishes on the McCain-Feingold law that regulates and rations political speech by controlling the financing of it. The law’s ostensible purpose is to combat corruption or the appearance thereof. But by restricting the quantity and regulating the content and timing of political speech, the law serves incumbents, who are better known than most challengers, more able to raise money and uniquely able to use aspects of their offices — franked mail, legislative initiatives, C-SPAN, news conferences — for self-promotion.

Not satisfied with such advantages, legislators added to McCain-Feingold the Millionaires’ Amendment to punish wealthy, self-financing opponents. The amendment revealed the cynicism behind campaign regulation’s faux idealism about combating corruption.

Read the whole thing, you’ll be amazed at how the definition of corruption is twisted 180 degress to favor incumbents.

*The Other Club advocates unrestricted political expenditure/donation accompanied by full and immediate disclosure of all donors.

Soooooie! That’s how you call donkeys, too.

TOC has written many times on the anti-Constitutional effects of so called “Campaign Finance Reform.” We think a better way to spike political corruption would be to require immediate and full disclosure of any and all contributions. Failure to comply would carry heavy penalties.

The ostensible goal of CFR was to get money out of politics. The result was to inject more politics into money. If the problem is money, then there’s a better place to focus: lobbying. Lobbying is an activity directed at sitting representatives.

Corruption is a inevitable consequence of the huge payoffs in corporate welfare that regularly result from relatively small lobbying investments. The problem manifests itself in earmarks, market distorting subsidies (a currently favored corporate leech being ethanol) and pet non-profit projects. Where, for example, is the Constitutional authority for funding a Woodstock Museum?

There is no clearer “appearance of corruption,” possibly excepting the serial campaign finance debacles involving Asian dishwashers and persons named Clinton (remember Charlie Trie?), than earmarks. The problems of campaign finance and lobbying for federal over-matching funds are parallel, because they both originate as attempts to influence the power of federal legislators’ to dispense monetary and regulatory favors. If these elected representatives could not dispense such largesse with impunity, they wouldn’t be worth bribing. Impunity is granted by voters, and it cannot be rescinded by federal statute. Unfortunately, American voters are easily, if no longer inexpensively, bribed – and they are generally insensitive to the fact it’s done with their own money.

The Constitution was written with a mind toward preventing this corruption by limiting government, but we no longer follow the restrictions it imposed. Review the Tenth Amendment. It will take 15 seconds.

Captain’s Quarters provides an idea of the lobby leverage engendered by a corrupted Congressional power to spend:

L-3 Communications: #1 on this list [of Congressional district beneficiaries], will get $69.5 million in earmarks for $140,000 of lobbying. They had almost $6 billion in government contracts in 2006, only 27% of which came from competitive bids. Jim Moran (D) and Chip Pickering (R) top the list of Congressional district beneficiaries of these contracts.

DRS Technologies: They will get $31.5 million in earmarks, but paid more than $1.3 million in lobbying to get it, making it the worst return on investment in the top 10 firms — still a whopping 2400%. They had to compete for 58% of their $1.2 billion in government contracts in 2006. James Moran’s district got the biggest slice of DRS spending, too.

Raytheon: The venerable defense contractor wins $30 million off of almost a million in lobbying costs. Only 16% of their 2006 contracts came from fully competitive bidding. Marty Meehan’s Congressional district got over a billion of Raytheon’s largesse, which means Nikki Tsongas has a good cushion of pork coming into her freshman season in the House.

General Dynamics: They got $26 million from $580,000 in lobbying. In 2006, less than a third of their $11 billion in government contracts came through fully competitive bidding. Bernie Sanders and Washington DC are the two big winners in GD spending for 2006.

Do people get the picture? Pork-barrel politics helps secure sinecures for beneficiaries, helping to perpetuate non-competitive procurement. In return, the politicians get plenty of lobbyist attention and make it more difficult for voters to hold them accountable for their performance. That’s bad enough with any appropriation bill at any time, but for politicians to play these games with defense spending in a time of war is particularly despicable.

This is a short, and disgusting, list. Imagine the power of regular, full disclosure applied to lobbying and campaign contributions. If Americans could come to understand that any money they send to Washington pols immediately becomes “spoils,” maybe there’d be enough outrage to encourage electing representatives who would consider it to be as unethical as it is.

However, Americans will never understand it as long as the argument is about “the children,” instead of the value of limited government. Limited government means limited opportunity for corruption. “For the children” is code for “more opportunity for corrupt demagogues.”

The Alaskan “bridge to nowhere” attracted a relatively small level of MSM attention, and a larger degree of public disgust. If the MSM wanted to do something to help the Republic, they could unrelentingly publish the details of the pork, and highlight the most egregious examples with headlines.

Full disclosure of pork and campaign finance is a better way for Americans to determine the government they deserve, however tawdry it might turn out. At least they would have no one else to blame.

On the topic of who to blame, it is true that both parties are culpable, but you have to go very deep in a Club for Growth list of the voting records on 15 anti-pork amendments to find the Democrats. Only one appears in the “top” 38, and that cut-off represents an anti-pork score of a whopping 40%.

Read the whole thing, but here are some -lights, both high and low:

* Only three senators received a perfect score of 100% (and were
present for a majority of the votes): Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim
DeMint (R-SC), and Richard Burr (R-NC).

* The only senator receiving a 0% was Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
who voted against all 10 anti-pork amendments he was present for.

* The average Republican score was 59%; the average Democratic
score was 12%.

* The best scoring Democrat was Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) with
an impressive 80%, tying with or scoring better than thirty-nine
Republican senators.

* Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scored a 53%; Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) scored a 7%, voting for only one amendment.

* Only two amendments were successful. The most popular amendment
was offered by Senator DeMint to bar the use of funds appropriated for
spinach growers in the Iraq Supplemental Bill (Roll Call #123,
03/29/07); it passed 97-0. The other amendment was offered by Senator
Coburn to eliminate $1 million for a museum dedicated to the Woodstock
Festival (Roll Call #377, 10/18/07); it passed 52-42.

Some of the targeted pork projects this year include:

* $100 million for the 2008 Republican and Democratic nominating
conventions. Amendment failed 45-51.

* Adding sand to San Diego*s beaches. Amendment failed 12-77.

* Millions of dollars for bicycle paths instead of using the funds
to improve bridge safety. Amendment failed 18-80. Watch Senator Coburn
talk about his amendment.

* A visitors’ center in Louisiana instead of providing shelter for
victims of Hurricane Katrina. Amendment failed 11-79.

* Funds for a baseball field in Montana, the International Peace
Garden in North Dakota, and a wetlands center in Louisiana. Amendment
failed 32-63.

* $2 million for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at
City College of New York, requested by Charles B. Rangel. Amendment
failed 34-61.

It’s no better in the House:

* Sixteen congressmen scored a perfect 100%, voting for all 50
anti-pork amendments. They are all Republicans.

* The average Republican score was 43%. The average Democratic
score was 2%.

* The average score for appropriators was 4%. The average score for
non-appropriators was 25%.

* Kudos to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) who scored an admirable 98%-the
only Democrat to score above 20%.

* Rep. David Obey (D-WI) did not vote for his own amendment to
strike all earmarks in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill. Rep. Obey
scored an embarrassing 0% overall.

* 105 congressmen scored an embarrassing 0%, voting against every
single amendment. The Pork Hall of Shame includes 81 Democrats and 24
Republicans.

* The Democratic Freshmen scored an abysmal average score of 2%.
Their Republican counterparts scored an average score of 78%.