The Favor Factory
Last month, the Seattle Times assembled a handy database breaking down the earmarks attached to the 2008 defense appropriations bill. The paper looked at how many of the bill's earmarks went to each congressional district and, in turn, how much money in campaign contributions the recipients of those earmarks have given to the congressmen who requested them.
For example, my congressman, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) larded the 2008 defense bill with $40.6 million in earmarks. Over the last five years, the recipients of those earmarks have given Moran more than $890,000 in campaign contributions. Moran was second only to Rep John Murtha (D-Pa.) in raking in contributions from recipients of his sponsored earmarks—Murtha reaped $1.6 million in contributions from the whopping $126 million he put in the bill.
Only about 10 percent of Congress requested no earmarks at all.