Scroll To Top

Earmarks? Who? Bachmann? No way….

Not that her request to investigate members of Congress’ patriotism, her assertion that Iran was going to set up "Bachmannistan" in Iraq, or groupie love for George W. Bush would have tipped you off… but Michele Bachmann does not live with the rest of us here in the reality based community.

Michele is finding herself in hot water again after claiming that she has not requested earmarks, and then immediately being told by a government watchdog group that, yes, she has. That wouldn’t stop her from appearing on more shows repeating her attacks on earmarks, but it wouldn’t be a truly Bachmann moment if she didn’t try and dig out from one lie with another.

From Think Progress:

WILSON: Well, I see a government watchdog group says since you became a member of the House you’ve taken in, oh, 3.7 million in earmarks.

BACHMANN: Well, the average earmark I think for the state of Minnesota for the members of Congress is somewhere around 70,000– million, so mine is very, very small on that level and that’s in the first two years that was in. After I saw the way that the process worked, after being a freshman, I saw how corrupt it was and took an earmark pledge and that’s why I personally have no earmarks in the current budget bill and the stimulus bill that was passed this year.

Yet, the total cost of earmarks Bachmann shifted to Minnesota in 2008 is well above the cost of the “average earmark” designated to her state.According to Legistorm, in 2008, Minnesota’s congressional delegation designated 158 earmarks worth over 330 million, an average of 2.1 million per earmark. Thus, the “the average earmark” for Minnesota’s members of Congress was not million as Bachmann claimed, but rather 2.1 million — less than the 3.7 Bachmann earmarked.

Whoops. Now this would be easy to dismiss as more craziness out of Minnesota’s Fightin’ 6th, because really at this point it’s expected. However Michele is just reading right out of the national Republican playbook on this, comlpain about earmarking money for your district… but certainly don’t stop doing it yourself.

This is the sort of thing that happens when elected officials stop trying to legislate, as John Boehner told them to, and start trying to push a public relations campaign. They find their way into publications to fight earmarks and pin them to Democrats while trying to restore some credibility with the American people, all the while gobbling up as much money as they can get their hands on for projects. No, this isn’t the same party that in a ten year span of controlling Congress saw earmarks grow from 3,000 in 1995 to 15,000 in 2005. A principled stand by Bachmann, Boehner, and the GOP on earmarks? Hardly.

Join Us.