Commentary: No reason for misdirecting earmarks

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

In the past two years, most of a $2 million earmark secured by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to benefit Kansas City has instead gone to the East Coast.

The convoluted money trail, exposed Sunday in The Star, is a ripe example of what's wrong with earmarks.

Yes, Cleaver was fooled by The PMA Group, a lobby organization now under federal investigation. But that's no excuse. It's his job not to be fooled, especially when using a very flawed system to toss about taxpayer money.

The amount isn't much when compared to the $7.7 billion of earmarks Congress sent out in its recent omnibus spending bill. But even that doesn't provide an excuse. If the Democratic Congressman is going to insist on spending taxpayer dollars through earmarks (Cleaver likes earmarks, a lot), and thus without cost-cutting competitive bids, he should be certain about where the money is going.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.