92067 Rancho Santa Fe Free Press breaks story on local earmarks in federal Omnibus Spending Bill
THIS JUST IN FROM THE 92067 FREE PRESS INVESTIGATIVE TRUTH SQUAD:
Brian Bilbray, R-50th Congressional District, respresenting Rancho Santa Fe and North County from Carmel Valley to Escondido, opposed, and voted against, the 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill saying "It is littered with wasteful and questionable spending that has no place in a stimulus package" (follow this link for his full statement) also placed four individual earmarks totaling almost $1.5 million and added his name to six additional earmarks totaling $3.3 million, according to an analysis of the bill by 92067 Rancho Santa Fe Free Press based on information provided Friday, March 13 by the non-partisan budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Bilbray's earmarks included:
$476,000 for the San Diego County Public Health Information Management System;
$475,000 for the Highway 56/Interstate 5 Widening Project;
$285,000 for the Encinitas Boulevard/I-5 Interchange Environmental Review;
$263,000 for the Solana-Encinitas Shoreline;
$237,500 for the Encinas Creek/Highway 101 Bridge Replacement;
$500,000 for the Costal Field Collection California Beach Processes Study;
$1.35 million for San Diego and Imperial County Communication Upgrades.
Now, in fairness, Bilbray had help with one of the earmarks. Reps. Bob Filner, Susan Davis and Darryl Issa each co-sponsored the communication upgrade earmark.
In fairness as well, 92067 Free Press supports many of these local projects, notably the Highway 56/I-5 widening project.
BUT...If someone issues press releases and public statements in a partisan manner saying earmarks in the National Rescue Omnibus Spending Bill are "wasteful and questionable" then shouldn't that representative NOT put in earmarks, regardless of how much they might benefit the community. You decide.
We have asked Bilbray's office for comment and received none as of Saturday, March 14.
92067 Rancho Santa Fe Free Press has broken this story exclusively. We will have an in-depth look at local earmarks later this week.
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