As mentioned the other day, Rep. Norm Dicks is running another stealth campaign, relying in great deal on free media coverage about the latest appropriations he's doling out. Many of them of course are earmarks, hated by budget watchdogs, loved by recipients.
It now appears Dicks has excelled at earmarks doling, turning up today as No. 4 on a list of Congressional members whose giving results in a lot of receiving, as well.
Compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and Taxpayers for Common Sense, the list details how the recipients of federal earmarks are linked back to Congress through lobbying efforts and campaign contributions. In other words, recipients including corporations and organizations are returning the political favors.
Dicks - the state's 2nd-highest earmarker behind Sen. Patty Murray - sponsored or co-sponsored 60 earmarks totaling $80,917,500 in fiscal year 2010 (mostly military funding), ranking 16th out of 435 representatives. But he ranks 4th when compared with others who got something in return: his campaign coffers benefited to the tune of $25,250 from beneficiaries of his earmarks. Major among them are defense contractors, including SAIC ($10,000), Paladin Data Systems ($4,100), National Center for Mfg Sciences ($2,850), Dimension4 Inc ($2,500) and AMI International ($2,300).
Next closest Washingtonian on the list is Doc Hastings, the Pasco Republican, who received $10,000 in donations from earmark recipients. No. 1 is Virginia Democrat Jim Moran who got $71,000 from recipients of his gusher of earmarks, $27 million.