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While the media continues to go apoplectic over Obama's pastor, it's stories like this one that really needs some good investigative reporting.

How can anyone think this earmark was not intended to secure an endorsement?

The Clinton campaign won't release tax returns, won't release earmarks, yet a tirade by Obama's pastor is somehow more important than these issues?

We watch as Obama comes clean and honestly answers questions about the Pastor and Rezko, yet Hillary isn't held to the same standard by the media about her tax returns and this very questionable earmark.

The media is shirking it's responsibility to report on substantial issues that affect how our government functions and what impact it has on it's citizens.

We might as well read the Enquirer, because that's the kind of news we're getting from the media.

Add a lack of substance and mix it with tabloid. Pathetic.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

In mid-January 2008, Clinton received an important endorsement from Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem and a prominent black leader. But this endorsement is tainted by the fact that Clinton provided $1,431,500 in earmarks in the 2008 federal budget for Butts' Abyssinian Development Corporation and its youth and social service programs. Earmarks create at least the appearance of political patronage for nonprofit groups. In order to get money from politicians, these organizations must play the political game of offering their endorsements. Because earmarks are the arbitrary decisions of members of Congress, leaders of nonprofit groups are reluctant to risk losing a valuable source of free money.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/...

"You don't abandon your friends in a time of challenge," said Rev. Calvin Butts, of the legendary Abyssinian Baptist Church, when asked in a telephone interview about his endorsement of Clinton, adding that she has been a strong senator, supportive of local projects.

http://councilfor.cagw.org/...

An examination of the Heritage Foundation’s database of the earmarks in the fiscal 2008 omnibus appropriations bill revealed the total number received by Presidential candidates from the Senate and House: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), 261; Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), 57; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), 52; Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), 46; Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), 10; Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), 9, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), 6; and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), 0.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

In the fiscal 2008 omnibus appropriations bill Hillary Clinton received 261 earmarks, more than five times the number of any other presidential candidate. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Clinton obtained 360 earmarks worth $2.2 billion from 2002 to 2006. This record establishes her as by far the worst abuser of earmarks among all presidential candidates in both parties.

http://thehill.com/...

Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has secured more earmarks in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill than any other Democrat except for panel Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

The bill contains about $5.4 billion in earmarks, or projects not requested by the Pentagon. With their slim majority, the Democrats on the panel claimed two-thirds of that sum. Clinton is among their more junior members.

By contrast, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), also a Democratic presidential candidate and Clinton’s rival for the nomination, has only one request in the defense bill.

Obama, who is not a member of the committee, made a request along with several other members for a Department of Education program for children with severe disabilities.

Clinton received 26 earmarks worth about $148.4 million total, most of which were also sought by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Clinton and Schumer agreed several years ago to go after projects together, according to several sources.

While Schumer has more seniority, Clinton has much higher name recognition and committee membership, which makes her better positioned to deliver projects for the state.

Originally posted to First Amendment on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 02:34 PM PDT.

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