Tracking earmarks from Obama and Biden


Taxpayers for Commons Sense rolled out a pair of new databases on earmarks of presidential candidates, this time covering Sen. Barack Obama’s requests from 2006 to 2008, and his funded earmarks for 2008. The databases are online here.

A list of the earmarks Sen. Joe Biden requested for fiscal year 2009 is available here. Robert Bluey at Red State is calling on Biden to disclose all his earmark requests–can’t argue with that. But for those who want to dig around in the press release archives of his site, there are plenty of releases like this one from prior years showing some of the earmarks he got funded.

One that interests me in the above-linked release is this one:

$6.6 million for University of Delaware-Center for Composite Materials work for the Army, including $1.6 million for work for the Army on an advanced, lighter composite armored ambulance, $3 million for a composite armored truck cab able to add various armor packages, and $2 million for work on lighter composite add-on vehicle armor.

Take a look at the Web page of the University of Delaware-Center for Composite Materials, particularly the center’s consortium members, which include huge defense contractors like Boeing, BAE Systems and General Dynamics, as well as three icons for “Anonymous Member.”

Somehow, I don’t think composite armored truck cabs or lighter composite armored ambulances are research subjects of disinterested academic research the results of which will be available to all, but rather projects that will benefit certain companies exclusively. So who else benefits from the earmark?

Incidentally, here’s the google search I used to get some of Biden’s older earmark requests — dig in if you’re so inclined.