Rep Jo Bonner was recently chosen by the House Republican Leadership to fill a vacancy on the House Appropriations Committee. He was chosen over Jeff Flake who has a much better track record on spending restraint and would have been a much better choice.
Bill Allison at Real Time Investigations is chronicling Bonner's recent earmarks and giving a blow by blow account of his investigation, very good stuff. He cites all his sources and shows exactly how he traces lobbyist influence.
HERE is his first earmark analysis, and second, third and fourth.
What is clear is that most earmarks are used either to favor a local lobbyist that makes contributions or can deliver contributions, or the earmark is used to garner local goodwill which means votes in the next election. In either case earmarks are thinly veiled payoffs. Earmarks have got to be stopped.