Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) hates earmarks. Despises them. On her website, she calls the earmark system “little more than a political favor factory at taxpayer expense.” But when it comes to her own district, she’s in favor of a little earmark “redefinition.” Because what is an earmark, after all?
“Advocating for transportation projects for one’s district in my mind does not equate to an earmark,” Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune yesterday.
“I don’t believe that building roads and bridges and interchanges should be considered an earmark,” Bachmann continued. “There’s a big difference between funding a tea pot museum and a bridge over a vital waterway.”
Bachmann, the leader of the House Tea Party Caucus, has made earmark reform a big part of her crusade against wasteful government spending.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: The Year of Michele Bachmann]
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surprised many by announcing his support for an earmark moratorium being sought by the Tea Party-friendly wing of his party.
Bachmann’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com