Common sense tells you that true earmark reform would be popular with the American people. Politico’s Patrick O’Connor highlights polling numbers that backs this up. A fresh Winston Group poll finds that 78 percent of Americans support the disclosure of earmarks. Not terribly surprising…But my question is, what’s the other 22 percent thinking?
Congressional Republicans, led by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) have been holding the Democrats feet to the fire on earmark reform. You don’t have to hire a high-dollar political consultant to figure out that crusading against earmark abuse is a good issue for the GOP to regain the fiscal responsible credentials they lost during its years of congressional control.
When the Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 the Senate short circuited the reform, making sure that their earmarks will not receive meaningful public scrutiny. The Senate needs to read the mood of the public and correct this stunt pronto. Newly-elected Sen. Claire McCaskill proposes that senators be required to list the details of all earmarks they propose on their Websites. This would allow the public to hold their own elected officials accountable for the way tax dollars were being spent. But I don't see that she's introduced legislation to require this yet.