The Loneliness of Jeff Flake


Porkbusting Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is still preaching the limited government gospel to his congressional colleagues, though they are, obviously, not paying much attention (I'm looking at you too, Ron Paul). Flake's hometown paper, The Arizona Republic, counts exactly one recent anti-earmark victory:

But out of a total of 50 earmarks totaling more than $77 million that he challenged this year, Flake was able to persuade a majority of his colleagues to vote against only one, a grant of $129,000 for the Mitchell County, N.C., Development Foundation to run the Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree project.

It was his first victory.

Although Flake did prevail against the Christmas-tree funding, he lost by wide margins on votes to cut other earmarks that would seem easy targets for budget hawks. Take, for example, a $250,000 grant for a wine and culinary center in Prosser, Wash. Or $100,000 for a hunting and fishing museum in Tionesta, Pa. Or $628,843 to pay for grape genetics research at Cornell University.

Flake, says the Republic, isn't getting much local party support either:

The rest of Arizona's Republican delegation rarely joins Flake. Only Rep. John Shadegg regularly votes to cut the earmarks Flake highlights. The lack of support from Republicans makes it hard to take GOP outrage about government spending at face value.

Whole story here.