Curiously, despite the calls for lobbying reform from Dennis Hastert and John Boehner, those seeking to rein in congressional earmarks are being punished. Gannett
reviews the earmarks for Tennessee in next year's federal budget. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) did okay for his district, but says he could have done better if not for his votes for earmark reform.
Cooper's 5th District also has 19 projects, but he thinks there would be more if he had not been so outspoken in his opposition to this method of distributing federal tax dollars. "In general, what they are trying to do is punish me without eliminating all my projects," Cooper said.
He said he received warnings on the floor of the House during votes on proposals by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to remove some of these projects from bills.
Lobbying reform, GOP-style.