McCain Brought Home the Bacon With 1989 Earmark

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Friday, October 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Sen. John McCain, as everyone knows, loves to say that he has never once, in his whole career, requested nor received a single earmark or pork-barrel project for his home state of Arizona.

Politifact has already released a report taking issue with the claim. But the McCain campaign disputes that any example cited meet the campaign’s strict definition of an earmark.

It is worth noting that we turned up news reports of a brouhaha that erupted in 1991, over McCain’s criticism of one of his own apparent earmarks, but we were unable to get the official documentation to back it up.

The Hotline has undeniably, irrefutably turned up a concrete example of McCain requesting an earmark — with official Senate documents (PDF) to prove it!

In April 1989, McCain sent a letter to then-Sen. James McClure, R-Idaho, asking the ranking Republican on the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee for a set-aside to help restore a 200-year-old Catholic mission near Tucson, Ariz. “I would like to ask your help in the vital effort to restore San Xavier del Bac, by earmarking $500,000 for that purpose in the FY 1990 appropriations bill,” McCain wrote in the signed letter, which is in McClure’s archived papers at the University of Idaho. [emphasis added]

There it is — the word “earmark” appearing in a letter requesting an earmark, signed by McCain. Seems open-and-shut. So what did the McCain campaign have to say for itself?

Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said that the mission is a National Historic Landmark and that Congress authorizes preservation funds for landmarks. McCain opposes unauthorized appropriations earmarks, Rogers said. “It does not meet the definition of an earmark,” he added. As for the language of the letter, Rogers said it was written by staffers back in 1989. “The verbiage is not something that Senator McCain would have chosen,” he said.

Of course, it doesn’t matter if a staffer wrote it. But this unquestionably meets the definition of an earmark that McCain denies ever requesting in his stump speeches.

Apparently, the McCain campaign’s official position is that if McCain requests an earmark, it is, by definition, not an earmark.

Comments

6 Comments

Kwaayesnama
Comment posted October 10, 2008 @ 8:22 pm

I am a republican and live in AZ, I will not be voting for McCain.
Just think McCain has spent 26 years in Washington, what is his call to fame?
In 26 years he had done nothing for the people of Arizona. In 26 he has seen no needs nothing, nada needed in his home state. So what is his plan to help this nation, the same plan he has had for 26 years for the people of Arizona, nothing, zero, and NADA. Just think, McCain/Palin economic Plan – Trust Wall St With Social Security. John McCain’s long touted plan for social security is to privatize it. Using the same Wall Street companies that are going under. Do you trust your future to Wall Street! Do you trust your future to John McCain and the lobbyists that are advising him and running his campaign? Here is a list of all of his major campaign workers and the special interests they represent.
http://mccainsource.com/corruption?id=0006


Kay
Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 6:08 am

I'm also a resident of Arizona and a registered republican. Will NOT vote for Juan McCain. One characteristic of McCain that has surfaced on his campaign is the fact that he makes decisions based on his poor judgment and then has to spend time cleaning up after himself; i.e., economy, blasting Obama this past week, and now the controversy with Sarah Palin (he knew about this when he announced her as his running mate) are a few of the examples. I question his ability to make sound decisions for this country. One other thing, he claims to know how to solve the economic crisis, social security, the war in Iraq. If in fact he knows the solution to these issues, what is he waiting for and why the need to keep it to himself? These issues are critical to the people of this country (especially the Iraq war where lives are being lost everyday). The plans he has presented have all proven to be detrimental to the taxpayers. This man is a walking time bomb.


Linda
Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 11:39 am

I agree with you totally. Also, why don't he tell where Bin Ladin is? He says in his speeches he knows.


Kay
Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

I'm also a resident of Arizona and a registered republican. Will NOT vote for Juan McCain. One characteristic of McCain that has surfaced on his campaign is the fact that he makes decisions based on his poor judgment and then has to spend time cleaning up after himself; i.e., economy, blasting Obama this past week, and now the controversy with Sarah Palin (he knew about this when he announced her as his running mate) are a few of the examples. I question his ability to make sound decisions for this country. One other thing, he claims to know how to solve the economic crisis, social security, the war in Iraq. If in fact he knows the solution to these issues, what is he waiting for and why the need to keep it to himself? These issues are critical to the people of this country (especially the Iraq war where lives are being lost everyday). The plans he has presented have all proven to be detrimental to the taxpayers. This man is a walking time bomb.


Linda
Comment posted October 11, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

I agree with you totally. Also, why don't he tell where Bin Ladin is? He says in his speeches he knows.


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