Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure more than $340 million worth of home-state projects in last year's spending bills, placing her among the top 10 Senate recipients of what are commonly known as earmarks, according to a new study by a nonpartisan budget watchdog group.
Working with her New York colleagues in nearly every case, Clinton supported almost four times as much spending on earmarked projects as her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), whose $91 million total placed him in the bottom quarter of senators who seek earmarks, the study showed.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely, part of his long-standing view that such measures prompt needless spending.
I'm not sure that the comparison between Hillary and Obama is entirely fair; she is vastly more powerful than Obama, and her husband is a key fundraiser for many senate Democrats, which Obama is not (yet). But it's nice to know that McCain has rejected earmarks; though they are far from the main fiscal issue facing the country, the principle is important.
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