CCAGW: Sestak on earmarks: "intentionally gaming the system"
Press Release Source: Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW)
On Monday August 30, 2010
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today assailed Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) for attempting to skirt the House Democrats’ prohibition on awarding earmarks to for-profit companies.
According to an August 28, 2010 article in The Morning Call, “Congressman Joe Sestak requested a $350,000 wind energy earmark for a nonprofit company, but the money could benefit someone who runs a for-profit company that develops wind turbines for offshore use.”
On March 10, 2010, House Democrats declared they would not approve requests for earmarks that are directed to for-profit entities.
“Members of Congress should make rules that they intend to follow, instead of intentionally gaming the system they create,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.
In July, The New York Times found that since March $150 million has been requested to fund nonprofit earmarks where the money could be passed through to fund for-profit entities. Rep. Sestak secured wasteful pork-barrel earmarks for 99 projects worth nearly $102 million from fiscal years 2008-2010.
The Morning Call article said the funding request for new wind energy technology was through a small nonprofit called the Thomas Paine Foundation, which is operated by the same person who operates New Way Energy LLC, a company that is developing wind turbines for offshore use. The Thomas Paine Foundation is a part of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, which had $13,800 in annual revenue in 2008.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) was named July 2010 Porker of the Month for attempting to secure an earmark for a new nonprofit that was very closely related to a for-profit company. According to The New York Times, Rep. Kaptur requested $10.4 million in pork-barrel earmark funding for the Great Lakes Research Center, a nonprofit organization that specializes in the same kind of work, and operates out of the same location as a for-profit company, Imaging Systems Technology.
“Fortunately, taxpayers know a ruse when they see it,” continued Schatz. “Members like Reps. Sestak and Kaptur are either out-of-touch or in an alternate reality if they think their actions represent what is in the realm of acceptable behavior for a member of Congress. Rep. Sestak has not signed CCAGW’s ‘No Pork Pledge,’ which means he will continue to request earmarks in the future,” concluded Schatz.
CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.