Rep. Jo Bonner joined Sen. Richard Shelby in securing a $9,089,000 earmark for the University of Alabama “for construction, renovation, and equipment” in the Labor, HHS and Education appropriations bill, according to our good friends at Taxpayers for Common Sense. The earmark originated with Sen. Shelby–employees and family members of the University of Alabama collectively are his 11th most generous career patron, having contributed $$62,769 to his campaign committee. In the course of his House career, Bonner has taken in roughly a third of that — $21,150 — from University of Alabama employees, making them the 19th most generous contributor on his career list.
The University of Alabama employs a pair of lobbying firms — Van Scoyoc Associates (we encountered them in earmark #8 and earmark #9) and Smith, Hinaman & Associates. Interesting to note that while Van Scoyoc Associates monitors all appropriations bills (according to page two of the linked filing) they don’t explicitly mention the Labor, HHS, Education bill. Bonner has received $18,736 in contributions from the firm’s employees and PAC since 2002.
Meanwhile, employees of Smith, Hinaman & Associates have contributed $11,500 to Bonner from March 2002 to Sept. 2005. They don’t mention a specific bill, but were seeking “funding for robotics/imaging research.”