Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tilting at Windmills: Sen. Coburn's Anti-Earmark Campaign Irks the Senate

Oklahoma's maverick junior senator, Dr. Tom Coburn, continues to make news with his on-going campaign against Congressional earmarks. The senator and his campaign were the subject of an article in today's edition of USA Today.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma, Sen. Coburn's actions have alienated other lawmakers, who may soon retaliate by pulling the plug on future Sooner state projects.

According to the newspaper, Coburn was successful several years ago in helping publicize and eventually kill funding for two projects known as "Bridges to Nowhere."

Beyond that, Sen. Coburn doesn't seem to be making much progress. In fact, USA Today notes, his opponents include such both Missouri senators, Republican Kit Bond and Democrat Claire McCaskill. Another opponent: Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican behind one of the ill-fated bridges Coburn helped kill.

We're all for cutting pork-barrel spending. But if Sen. Coburn is going to really effect any change in the Congress, he's going to need many more friends than he has now.


Dan Paden said...

I rather liked Bob Novak's take on the situation.

Overall, the problem really isn't Coburn. It really is one of those all too common situations where the vast majority of people in question clearly have their hands in the cookie jar. It's not surprising that Coburn isn't getting a whole lot of cooperation, but that doesn't mean that he's wrong.

Tulsan said...

Coburn is squirting a small water pistol on a brushfire in another county. Iraq spending is the raging, out-of-control fire. If he wants to be Smokey the Bear, he should go after the punks who started it and keep feeding it.

Tulsan said...

Here is a link to the USA Today article.

"He frames the question in a way that people understand," said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a non-partisan watchdog group. "Why are we spending money the way we are spending money?"

Coburn, a physician, put it more succinctly: "The purpose is to awaken the American people to the stupidity of what we do out here."
Many of us are double espresso awake to it.