Obama Releases Earmarks, Says Clinton Should Too

As Hillary Clinton continues to push the idea that Barack Obama is not ready to be president, the Obama campaign seems intent on pushing the message that Clinton is too secretive to be president.

After recently calling on Clinton to release her tax returns, the Obama campaign today released the Illinois Senator’s earmark requests in an effort to put more pressure on Clinton.

Her campaign didn’t seem ready to respond. At the end of the Clinton campaign’s conference call today, Howard Wolfson was asked if Clinton was willing to desist from using earmarks for the rest of the year. “I don’t know the answer,” he said, before referring the reporter to Clinton’s Senate office.

Here is the memo calling for Clinton to release her earmark requests:

As Hillary Clinton continues to push the idea that Barack Obama is not ready to be president, the Obama campaign seems intent on pushing the message that Clinton is too secretive to be president.

After recently calling on Clinton to release her tax returns, the Obama campaign today released the Illinois Senator’s earmark requests in an effort to put more pressure on Clinton.

Her campaign didn’t seem ready to respond. At the end of the Clinton campaign’s conference call today, Howard Wolfson was asked if Clinton was willing to desist from using earmarks for the rest of the year. “I don’t know the answer,” he said, before referring the reporter to Clinton’s Senate office.

Here is the memo calling for Clinton to release her earmark requests:

 

Obama Releases His Earmark Requests; Calls on Clinton to do the Same

 

Chicago, IL – Senator Barack Obama’s campaign today released his earmark requests for 2005 and 2006 and called on Senator Hillary Clinton to do the same. Last year, Obama’s Senate office released his 2007 earmark requests.

The ’05 and ’06 requests can be seen by clicking [link]. The ’07 requests are available on the official Senate website. To date, Senator Clinton has refused repeated requests to disclose her earmark requests.

“Bringing real change requires changing the way we do business in Washington,” said Obama for America Communications Director Robert Gibbs. “If Senator Clinton will not agree to join Senator Obama in releasing her earmark requests, voters should ask why she doesn’t believe they have the right to know she wants to spend their tax dollars.”

Obama believes that there has been too little transparency in Washington, and he has been a leader in reforming the earmark process so that every American can know how the government spends their tax dollars. Barack Obama teamed up with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to pass a law that lifted the veil of secrecy in Washington by creating a Google-like search engine that allows ordinary Americans to track federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans online. The database – known as “Google for Government” – was launched by the Office of Management and Budget in early December and is available at http://www.USAspending.gov. As president, Obama will give voters the tools they need to track spending so we can stop letting the special interests set the agenda in Washington.

CLINTON HAS REFUSED TO RELEASE HER EARMARKS, VOTED AGAINST DISCLOSURE Clinton Has Refused To Respond At All To Requests By The Media To Identify Her Earmarks. “When it comes to earmarks, an issue that voters responded to more than any other in the last election except for Iraq, her record is about as bad as it gets. If Dennis Hastert was the king of earmarks, Hillary Clinton was his queen. Republicans had their ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Hillary has her knitting mill. Among the presidential candidates, many Republicans currently holding office have responded to media requests to make public all their earmarks, including Representatives Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. (Senator John McCain notably claims to not submit any such requests). They presumably have done so because they have nothing to hide. On the Democratic side, however, the major candidates have been much less forthright. The Clinton campaign refused to respond at all to requests that she identify her earmarks.” [Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg, 10/8/07]

Clinton Voted Against Requiring Public Disclosure Of Earmark Sponsors And Recipients. In 2007, Clinton voted against requiring public disclosure of earmark sponsors and earmark recipients, and to change the definition of an earmark to include both federal and non-federal projects. [Vote #5, Motion rejected, 46-51 D 38-9 R 7-41 I 1-1, S. Amdt. 11, 1/11/07; New York Times, 1/13/07]

Clinton Voted Against Earmark Transparency in Committee. In an Armed Services Committee vote, Clinton voted against providing for the increased transparency of earmarks for additional funding. [Armed Services Committee Vote on Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2008, Motion 6, Passed 15-10]

Obama Releases Earmarks, Says Clinton Should Too