The campaign's response to the commercial states, "Mark Udall has voted against eliminating earmarks where the proponent of the earmark makes a public and convincing case for keeping it." (E-mail to 9NEWS, Aug. 11, 2008)Judging by the earmarks he's approved, Mark Udall has a pretty low threshold for what constitutes a convincing case for an earmark.
Hey, at least Mark Udall voted against 1 earmark out of 50 - better than 105 members of Congress. And he could plead the "everybody else is doing it" defense. Fewer than half the members of Congress voted against as many as two earmarks on the list. (And he did show up to vote for 49 earmarks, unlike the vote for an adjournment resolution he promised to make.) But that's simply the career politician culture Udall represents - and a big part of the reason that Congress has a 9 percent approval rating.
If he's searching for a reformer role model within his own party, Mark Udall could look to fellow Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee - who has a mirror image record to his own, voting against 49 of 50 earmarks. Cooper is much harder than Udall to convince that the people's money should be frittered away on pet projects.
Altogether, this report is further proof that Mark Udall is a newcomer to the anti-earmark club.