Say what you will about his e-mails and digestive issues, but you gotta hand it to Rep. John Campbell (R-Newport) for really, really hating federal earmarks. He doesn't request any federal project dollars for his district -- luckily, other members of the Orange County D.C. delegation do that for him -- and he's got his own little online earmark reform center.
Yesterday, he introduced an amendment to the House of Representatives to prevent further funding of the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Pennslyvania. Why? It's a "boondogle." The tiny airport offers only six flights a day -- all to Washington D.C., which is a three hour drive away from Cambria County -- and yet it's received almost $200 million in federal subsidies. (Campbell mistakenly says on the House floor that it offers six flights a week). As the Washington Post chronicled last month, it's the pet pork project of the U.S. Rep it's named after: John Murtha.
Gotta say... It seems like Campbell's attacking a pretty indefensible waste of taxpayer dollars. But then James Oberstar (D-Minnesota) got up and calls the amendment "meanspirited."
"This is the first negative earmarking that I've witnessed in congress," said Oberstar. "It is no less than an assault upon essential air service to rural America."
With that, Campbell's pet project to kill a pet project was killed, 263-154. Watch the C-Span drama unfold:
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