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An example for other politicians

September 01, 2007

Re "Lawmaker's mission: Put a bug in their earmarks," Aug. 27

It looks like we just might have a new William Proxmire in the U.S. Congress. If Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) can truly follow through on his initial efforts to expose congressional earmarks, this is one voter who would be thrilled. This is good news.

Most, if not all, of our politicians are guilty of accepting pork for pet projects in their home states, even if those projects are of little benefit to their larger constituencies.

It's time to enact a new law, or to revise one already on the books, to disallow any last-minute riders that have nothing to do with the original legislation. That way, maybe sorely needed funding for vital projects would be more readily available.

Ellie Doud

Van Nuys


Flake's battle against earmarks, including any for his own state, is an example of a politician who is determined to do the right thing, even at his own political expense.

I think he was also right to oppose the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which is a most wasteful program designed to benefit the insurance and drug industries more than patients.

He was not afraid to oppose his party's position on No Child Left Behind and an overhaul of immigration laws, and he was in favor of the ouster of then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Maybe his courage to act on his conscience can serve as an example to other legislators and restore Americans' trust in our politicians.

Bill Mead

Oak View, Calif.


Flake's definition of "pork" is very revealing. Evidently, museums, alternative energy research, public swimming pools and theaters all represent an obscene misallocation of the taxpayers' money, presumably because these projects merely benefit the U.S. population at large rather than furthering the real purpose of government: enriching the rich.

Interestingly, the "pork groaners" listed in your sidebar add up to less than $8 million, which would fund the fatuous Republican-supported Iraq war for about half an hour.

Stacy Bermingham

San Diego

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