Friday, April 4, 2008

Questions of Earmark Ethics Dog Big Congressional Spender Mark Udall

The Denver Post reports:
While U.S. Rep. Mark Udall has sworn off budget earmarks for next year, records show he secured at least two contracts in the past for a Boulder-based company that has contributed thousands to his campaign.

Otologics, a maker of high-tech hearing implants, received $1.4 million and $1 million contracts in 2005 and 2007 — the same period in which the company's executives gave $6,850 to Udall, according to public records and the congressman's staff.

Udall and the many other lawmakers who push pet projects for campaign donors risk the appearance of impropriety, Steve Ellis of the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense said Thursday. [emphasis added]
As the story goes on to point out, it's all part of Mark Udall's record as Colorado's biggest purveyor of pork:
The Boulder County politician ranks as the Colorado congressman who brought home the most money in earmarks last year, according to rankings from the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.

At $27.6 million for his district, he ranks $1 million above Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican who has also sworn to forgo earmarks next year.
It was only last month that Udall flipped against earmarks only to flop back a day later.

Bringing home the pork in exchange for campaign contributions. This must be what the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee means by "helping" a Congressional district. In that sense, Mark Udall helps a lot more than Bob Schaffer.

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