Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shelley Moore Capito bravely pushes earmarks for donors

The bestest, greatest, most fantastic Congresswoman from West Virginia ever, Republican Shelley Moore Capito is demonstrating her independence. She has bravely stood up to the campaign promises of the McCain-Palin ticket to veto all earmarks. In open defiance of the leadership of her party, Capito is sticking to her guns--earmarks for everyone campaign donors.

The Shepherdstown Observer reports that not only is Capito making sure West Virginia gets its share of federal dollars, Republican Shelley Moore Capito is making sure as many tax dollars as possible go to the very right people--her campaign donors. After all, if you're not willing to invest in the best female member of Congress in W.Va., why should she invest in you?

Capito's Earmarks Linked to Campaign Contributions
Representative Shelley Moore Capito has published her Fiscal Year 2008 requests for federal earmarks on her website. One of these is $100,000 for the Loy Cultural Center for the renovation of a bottling plant in Romney.

Robert Mayhew, president of the Loy Foundation, told The Observer that he requested this funding from Rep. Capito. He also confirmed that he has contributed to Capito campaigns in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007 totaling more than $7,400.

Now, you might scoff, that's only one example. We all know when Shelley Moore Capito stands up for an important principle like directing tax dollars to her donors, you can be sure she won't pull up short. No, indeed.

This is not the only earmark that Capito has sponsored that has ties to campaign contributors. In her ’08 earmark requests she successfully secured $265,000 for the Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center in Charleston. A member of its board of directors, Henry (William) Harmon, gave campaign money to Capito in 2003, 2005, and 2006, totaling $4,100.

Similarly, Capito successfully sponsored a $97,000 earmark for St Joseph’s Hospital in Buckannon. St. Joseph’s Hospital CEO Tony Atkins gave $1,000 to the Capito campaign in 2007, and Michael Sellards, also a board member of St. Joseph’s and CEO of Pallottine Health Services, the hospital’s parent company, gave $1,000 to Capito’s campaign in 2008.

Leslie Paige, spokesperson for the Citizens Against Government Waste, is outraged by this type of practice. “Of course there is a link between campaign contributions and earmarks. Is it right? No. It’s called “corruption” with a small ‘c’. This is using taxpayers’ dollars to do favors for your cronies. It is not illegal, but it is not terribly ethical.”

Federal funding for the Loy Center in Romney has received national attention. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) listed the project as one of the country’s worst examples of earmark abuse.

Who says Capito isn't independent! She's willing to stand up to The Mavericks in her party, what can be more independent than that?

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