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Death, Taxes, Earmarking

Is anybody terribly surprised that Maryland’s Senior Senator seems to be shutting money to her campaign donors?

Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski has added tens of millions of dollars to a defense spending measure in earmarked grants for her top campaign donors, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis.

All but one of Mikulski’s 16 funding requests were approved, making her the champion defense earmarker for the state. Final numbers won’t be available until Congress completes action on the spending legislation later this fall.

Included in the senator’s $42.1 million total is a combined $10.5 million for three companies, Northrop Grumman, Thales Communications and L-3 Communications, whose executives and political action committees have been among her most generous contributors.

Northrop Grumman officials and the company’s PAC gave $57,900 to Mikulski’s campaign and her political committee between 2005 and this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks political money.

That makes Northrop Grumman the largest source of contributions to Mikulski’s re-election, according to the center’s figures. The other two companies, Thales and L-3, also ranked among her top 15 donors.

Of course, none of this should comes as a surprise to people who pay attention to Barbara Mikulski, noting her status as a high ranker in the “Pig Book” to overcome her complete lack of influence in the U.S. Senate. She has to try to justify her continued service in the U.S. Senate, so instead of actually putting the interests of Marylanders first she will settle for at least staying bought by her largest contributors.

There is one thing that makes me a little curious going into 2010 however. Mikulski is now caught red-handed shuttling earmarked spending to large corporations who just happen to be some of her biggest donors. Last year, Mikulski was being pummeled by the lunatic fringe on her side for not being enough of a leftist.

How do you think Maryland’s fringe left is going to react to this?

(Crossposted)






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