Citizens Against Government Waste wants you to cast your vote for the 2008 Porker of the Year. The outstanding lineup of nominees represent all that is wrong with the way Washington conducts it's businees "for the people". The nominees are:
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT):
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) its June Porker of the Month for accepting a preferential mortgage deal from a company which stands to benefit from a mortgage bailout bill he is pushing through Congress.
The unsettling revelations about Sen. Dodd’s sweetheart mortgage deal comes as the Senate Banking Committee is pushing a broad housing bill that features provisions that accrue to the benefit of large mortgage lenders while placing taxpayers at great financial risk.
Rep. John Mica (R-FL):
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) its July Porker of the Month for his opposition to an earmark ban and defense of earmarks. According to the Orlando Sentinel, on July 8, Rep. Mica said, “There’s no way in hell I would support banning earmarks … That’s our job, getting elected and making decisions. Yes, there are bad earmarks, like there are bad members of Congress. And what you do is get rid of them."
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA):
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) its November Porker of the Month for remarks he made during a speech in October in which he praised the idea of wealth redistribution and maligned the idea that people who create wealth should be entitled to keep it.
The remark occurred during an October 27, 2008 Indian-American Forum Candidate Night in suburban Virginia with his challenger Mark Ellmore (R). Rep. Moran stated “Now, in the last seven years, we have had the highest corporate profit ever in American history, highest corporate profit. We’ve had the highest productivity. The American worker has produced more per person than at any time. But it hasn’t been shared and that’s the problem. Because we have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth. And they may be able to sustain that for awhile, but it doesn’t work in the long run.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) its August Porkers of the Month for leading a do-nothing Congress into a five week vacation.
Congress left for its traditional August recess after accomplishing nothing. Of the 106 bills enacted since January, 94, or 89 percent were to name government buildings or lands, extend or make technical corrections to existing laws, or passed either by unanimous consent or with less than 10 dissenting votes. The accomplishments included “Frank Sinatra Day,” National Plumbing Industry Week,” and “National Day of the Cowboy.” The deadline for passing the 12 annual appropriations bills has been deliberately ignored. Only one of the bills has passed the House, and only four others have been approved by the House Appropriations Committee.
In the Senate, nine have been approved by the Appropriations Committee but none have reached the floor. There are two reasons for this failure to act. First, the Speaker and Majority Leader appear to be waiting for the presidential election to decide what to do with these bills, hoping that the winner in November would favor higher spending and more earmarks.
Second, the moratorium on offshore drilling expires on September 30, and it is usually renewed through the appropriations process. However, both Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are opposed to lifting the moratorium. Rather than allowing a vote, they shut down Congress. House Republicans took to the darkened House floor, demanding that Congress go back into session and hold an up-or-down vote to lift the drilling ban.
The Speaker’s first response was to continue her taxpayer-financed vacation to promote her new book. She has since indicated some willingness to consider a vote, but only tied to a larger (and costly) energy package. Majority Leader Reid’s response has been to threaten to shut down the government by refusing to allow any appropriations bills to reach the Senate floor, including a continuing resolution that would allow agencies to operate at the fiscal year 2008 spending levels.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK):
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named outgoing Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) its December Porker of the Month. Even though Sen. Stevens has been a regular target for criticism by the group, CAGW chose to honor him one last time for his lifetime of pork-barrel overachievement.
“Think of this final Porker of the Month Award as a sort of ‘swine song,’” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Sen. Stevens will be the subject of both encomiums and censure over the next few weeks and CAGW wanted to be sure that the taxpaying public doesn’t forget his 40-year legacy of explosive earmarking. In his vaunted position as either Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee over the years, Sen. Stevens scrupulously set the lowest possible standards of accountability in federal spending. By opposing every effort at increasing transparency and accountability, Sen. Stevens provided invaluable leadership of the Senate and his party..straight into single digit approval ratings and a political wilderness that could last for years.”
Sen. Stevens helped bring home to Alaska a total of 1,452 pork-barrel projects worth $3.4 billion between 1995 and 2008. Alaska has been the number one state in pork per capita every year since 1999 in CAGW’s Congressional Pig Book. Among his many career highlights, Stevens defended the now-infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” on the floor of the Senate in 2005 by threatening to resign his seat, saying he would become a “wounded bull on the floor of this Senate” and that he would have to be “taken out of here on a stretcher.”
With such fine nominees you'll have a tough choice to make before you cast your vote.