Have you heard? Senator Patty Murray is doing the nation a disservice

Have you heard? Senator Patty Murray is doing the nation a disservice by dragging so much earmarked federal money back to her home state. So says her opponent, Dino Rossi. It’s a drum the Republican Senatorial candidate has been beating since entering the race in May. Over and over again. But as Rossi well knows, earmarks can be used to subsidize worthy public works projects just as easily as they can those where the need is questionable. So, let’s review just a few of the Murray-sponsored earmarks that are likely to do some good.Back in January of 2009, the Army Corps of Engineers discovered water seeping through an embankment near the Howard Hanson Dam. Aiming to prevent Renton, Auburn and all of the other cities in the Green River Valley from being overwhelmed with floodwater, Murray helped shepherd a $44 million emergency appropriation through Congress this month for repairs. And on July 21, Murray announced that she’d be sponsoring an earmark in a 2011 transportation bill that would contribute $3 million toward the South Park Bridge’s replacement. South Park’s main entryway closed to traffic earlier this month. But efforts to find the funding to remove and replace it continues. If approved, the earmark will bring the total contributed by state, local and federal governments to $98 million. That’s still well short of the project’s $131 million price tag, however.All told, Murray sponsored 190 earmarks in 2010, scoring $219,538,750 in federal money for state projects. In fairness, some of those projects seem more deserving than others. But yesterday, Rossi told ABC’s Top Line that if elected he’d forgo securing any earmarks, saying that the tit-for-tat process of securing them is “bankrupting America.” So, dear reader, which one of those projects will you be cool with letting languish should Rossi get elected?

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