Friday, December 3, 2010

Earmarks: Was Lamborn for them before he was against them?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 4:18 PM

If you were out of town for Thanksgiving weekend, or just decided to be good to yourself by not reading the Gazette for a few days, you may have missed U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's op-ed congratulating House Republicans for voting to ban earmarks.

John Tomasic at the Colorado Independent takes a moment to argue that an anti-earmark Lamborn must be a new and improved Lamborn.

Lamborn

According to records posted at Citizens for Government Waste’s “Pig Book” website, Lamborn has been a major dealer in pork. He voted for more than tens of millions in earmarks, mostly for defense projects, one of which has become infamous in anti-big government crowds as a particularly egregious waste of taxpayer money.

Much of the piece focuses on Lamborn's support of the much-maligned Joint Strike Fighter Alternate Engine "boondoggle." Then, relying on the "Pig Book," Tomasic dismisses some other defense-friendly items that Lamborn voted for as pork without any real explanation:

... the $2.4 million he voted to spend on an “Army SupportNet Frontline Provider” and the $7.2 million he OKd for the “[Peterson] Air Force Base East Gate Realignment” and the $10 million for a “MDIOC Modeling and Simulation” and the $3.2 million for a “Naval Postgraduate School PhD in Homeland Defense” and the $7.3 million on something called “Replace Squadron Operations, Buckley Air Force Base,” and so on.

We'd like to look more closely at those expenditures before parroting the "pork" designation. But Tomasic gets at a good point, moving forward: Now that Lamborn has so clearly adopted an anti-earmark stance, it should be fun to watch for any backtracking in 2011 and 2012.

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