Washington Watchers Note 34,000 Earmarks and Counting

WASHINGTON:Political watchdog group Washington Watch is conducting a contest to see who can compile the most earmarks. Followers have counted up 34,000 so far during the first six months of the current legislative session. Many involve funding for university research and community improvements. Some would potentially funnel money into the professional video sector, such as California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s request for $400,000 to buy gear for the Los Angeles County’s Covert Camera and Surveillance Team.

Among others, Sarnoff Corp. stands to get $2 million for developing compression codecs for transmitting data-rich HD video to military users. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has a $5 million$20 million earmark includes the same system.

Further communications-related requests include a $5.9 million earmark for Rajent Corp. of Malvern, Penn., to build mobile emergency broadband systems. Many more earmarks that could fund R&D in video and communications are likely to be on the list, which is not yet complete. At least 100 more legislators have yet to be vetted for earmarks.

No dollar total is available for the 34,000 earmarks listed at the Washington Watch Web site, and not all of those turned up in the contest will make it into law. The full list is here, for those with time to surf through the 1,732 pages of entries.

WW’s Earmark Contest No. 5 offers prizes for whomever scouts out the most pork. First prize is an Amazon Kindle; second prize, an iPod Shuffle, and third is a “regular deluxe fruitcake.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams
(image by Scott Beale)  request in for “a very high field-of-view aerial camera system” for unmanned aerial vehicles. Another