Coburn Site Offers Earmark Info


The official Web site of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., offers an “earmark toolkit” for visitors. The most useful element is the summary of the appropriations process and the means by which members secure funding for their pet projects. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more information on individual earmarks or, alternatively, lists of them all, although given the fine work that many others have done identifying them in appropriations bills (most notably, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Porkbusters), there’s little reason for a Senate office to duplicate their efforts.

The site also offers regularly updated news on the appropriations process, with a fair number of stories mentioning the Senator’s attempt to reform it (fair enough–it is his Web site, after all).

The earmark toolkit (toolkit is really a misnomer–it’s very light on actual tools) has a list of grants to museums in the states of members of the Senate Appropriations Committee; while it’s interesting and something I’m going to take a closer look at, one has to go here (not linked on the toolkit) to grasp the real significance of the list—that 70 percent of such grants go to the states of lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee. (Although 70 percent of what isn’t clear; is it all projects from 2001 to 2006, or just those from 2006, and why does the graphic on the same page say it’s 64 percent going to home states?)

Coburn has made earmark reform his signature issue. His Congresspedia profile can be found (and edited, added to and improved upon) here.