Response to Article
Editor; Roseville Press Tribune:
The Roseville Press Tribune recently published an article by Jon Brines that quotes a local official accusing me of hypocrisy for proposing critically needed highway projects in the district for inclusion in the annual transportation authorization bill after taking a strong stand against “earmarks.”
The practice I have strongly condemned and am fighting to stop in Congress is the insertion of appropriations without public vetting or competition and that typically directs those funds to specific recipients.
The local projects that I have proposed for funding in the pending transportation bill – interchanges in Roseville, Placerville and Nevada City and the Lincoln bypass – bear no relation to this practice. This bill sets aside a portion of the annual transportation authorization to assure that every Congressional district receives funding according to specific criteria. I added additional standards in evaluating competing local government requests to assure they met the Citizens Against Government Waste earmark reform pledge that I signed during the 2008 campaign. The effect of a congressman not nominating projects in this act doesn’t reduce the bill’s spending one cent – it merely redistributes those funds to other districts. I explained this in great detail to Mr. Brines.
The reporter goes on to quote Kathryn Mathews of the El Dorado Transportation Commission as saying that “We’ve been told McClintock would not entertain any project period. Then two days before the requests were due to be submitted we got a call saying, ‘go ahead and submit them if you want.’” I have never told Ms. Mathews or anyone else that I would not consider legitimate infrastructure projects and have accepted proposals from local agencies from the outset. In fact, Ms. Mathews submitted her project requests more than two weeks before the projects were due.
Mr. Brine’s article illustrates the difference between the journalistic tradition of “All the news that’s fit to print,” and “All the news that fits.”
Representative Tom McClintock
Fourth District of California