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New Pig Book says Hillary Clinton's tops in pork spending, Barack Obama's 2nd, but John McCain had none!

April 2, 2008 |  3:13 pm

The nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its newest Pig Book, an overwhelming detailing of all 11,610 pork barrel projects inserted in the current fiscal year's appropriations bills by individual members of Congress.

These semi-secret spending measures cost taxpayers New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the phone no doubt arranging another legislative earmark that makes her the biggest pork barrel spender of the remaining White House candidates, according to the newly released Pig Bookan extra $17.2 billion this fiscal year alone. This is the first year legislators have had to attach their names to these measures.

That's B for billion dollar$. In extra spending. That typically didn't go through the usual legislative committee screening. A huge increase over the previous year.

And guess which one of the surviving presidential candidates likes pork the most? And the least?

According to the Pig Book ("The Book Washington Does Not Want You to Read"), New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is our new grand national oinker among presidential contenders for most pork barrel spending. She inserted a whopping 281 individual spending projects into bills for the benefit of New York interests at the cost of taxpayers everywhere.

That totals $296.2 million.

The new national hero, on the other hand, for not inserting one penny of pork barrel spending is the Republican Party's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. As a longtime staunch opponent of such earmarks, McCain may be expected to raise the subject of such special spending if Clinton becomes his Democratic opponent in the fall's general election.

He may also bring it up if his opponent is Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who may be a freshman senator but still isn't shy about inserting special earmarks into legislation cataloged by the taxpayer group's annual report. He accounted for 53 special earmarks, totaling almost $97.4 million.

This includes about $402,000 for a juvenile delinquency program at the Shedd Aquarium and $383,000 for another ethanol research plant.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who still technically is in the GOP race, has campaigned against large government seeping into the lives of American citizens. However, according to the Pig Book, that didn't keep him from proposing eight pork-spending bills totaling $22 million, including nearly $4 million to alter a Galveston bridge.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Baltimore Sun

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