Utah’s Pork

Tom Coburn, Republican senator from Oklahoma, provides a working database of earmarks in the 2010 Omnibus spending bill. Having read reports that Bob “Cry Baby” Bennett had inserted a large number of earmarks, I decided to look through the database and see what I could find. The database is provided as a spreadsheet listing earmark spending amounts, the spending bill in which they are introduced, the project on which they are spent and sponsors in the house and senate. Using this database, I extracted the earmarks inserted or sponsored by the Utah delegation (House: Jason Chaffetz, Rob Bishop, Jim Matheson; Senate: Bob Bennett, Orrin Hatch).

What comes out is most revealing: Bennett is indeed addicted to pork projects. Matheson comes in second, but mostly only for cosponsoring projects with Bennett. Its unclear how much pork Matheson would introduce if Bennett wasn’t there for him to hide behind as a cosponsor. Coming in a distant third is Hatch with a single earmark, again cosponsored with Bennett. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz don’t have a single earmark associated with their names, so for better or worse they are consistent with their rhetoric on spending.

I’ve created an earmarks spreadsheet containing the items that I found in the Coburn supplied database sponsored by Utah’s delegation, giving the following totals:

Sponsor Spending
Bob Bennett $253,649,300
Tim Matheson $35,442,000
Orrin Hatch $500,000

At a quarter-billion dollars, Bennett managed to outspend Utah’s lone Democrat representative by an order of magnitude. Its hard to tell exactly what is funded in these projects from the title of the project alone, but last I checked only the military spending seems covered by a power specifically granted to the federal government by the constitution. Last I checked, the constitution doesn’t give the federal government authority to fund gang prevention projects for a single city. And so-on.