Taxpayers for Common Sense has released the ultimate compendium of 2008 earmarks available for download, accompanied by an authoritative report on the 110th Congress’ earmarking practices and proclivities. I found this bit particularly noteworthy:
Lawmakers in the 73 House districts deemed “competitive” by the Cook Political Report took credit for $1.9 billion in earmarks, an average of $26 million each–about 14 percent higher than the average for non-appropriations committee members. Democrats in competitive races fared much better than their Republican counterparts, averaging $29.4 million to $23.4 million for Republicans.
The Washington Post’s take on the study is here, while the New York Times weighs in here, complete with links to congressional earmark request forms. TCS’ study won’t be the last word on 2008 earmarks, I suspect — just looking at the list of them, in a file aptly named bigkahuna.xls, raises all kinds of questions — but it’s definitely the can’t-do-without research tool for digging into them.