“We should get rid of earmarks altogether, get rid of these member items altogether,” Mr. Weiner said last week, saying such a move would “restore public confidence” in government.
Of course, as a congressman, Mr. Weiner has his own earmarked funds to spread around his district — and he has shown a willingness to do so.
Mayoral Hopeful, an Earmark Critic, Has His Own
In recent years, Mr. Weiner has sponsored at least 40 earmarks, including appropriations of roughly $235,000 to fight beach erosion in the Rockaways and $3.7 million to restore a salt marsh in Brooklyn. The congressman has also directed nearly $450,000 to Agudath Israel, a national Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization that plays a significant role in city elections.
The total amount of money Mr. Weiner has secured is difficult to tally because until a rule change last year, members were not required to attach their names to such line items. But for this fiscal year alone, Mr. Weiner, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, has delivered about $8.6 million in federal funds for 15 projects in his district. One of them was a multimillion-dollar initiative that landed on a watchdog group’s list of suspect government spending.