Earmark Horse Hockey

I’ve been poring over the earmark request data collected in WashingtonWatch.com’s big earmark hunting contest, and correlating it to the earmarks that made it into bills. It’s slow going, so far …

But the excitement level sure builds when you take a look at what the money’s going to!

Do you have your tickets to the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up rodeo yet? It’s going on right now!

And you stand to contribute $500,000 to Pendleton Round-Up Foundation, which puts it on, thanks to an earmark in the Senate version of H.R. 3288, The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010.

Senator Wyden (D-OR) requested $3.5 million for the facility where the rodeo is held. Senator Merkley (D-OR) requested a more modest $365,000.

The report for the bill has the federal government sending $500,000 to the Pendleton Round-Up Foundation for “reconstruction and construction needs of facilities which are critical to the local economy.” That’s right: The folks in Pendleton, Oregon want you to send them a half-million bucks for their “critical-to-the-local-economy” rodeo ring.

The people in Pendleton probably love their rodeo, and they’re entitled to! But it’s an open question whether they should be entitled to use your money in putting it on. For my part, I say horse hockey!