Even more encouraging is that Senator DeMint is now and was before know as a Senator that crusades against pork barrel spending. Now, if we just had 99 more of those.
The Federal Railroad Administration handed a rare victory to the American taxpayer last week by denying a questionable $2.3 billion loan application by the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern (DM&E) Railroad. What makes this news of special interest is the paramount role Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) played in boosting the loan. Here is a cautionary tale of political life in Washington and how it corrupts.
Thune guided through Congress legislative changes that made the loan possible. But an assessment that DM&E was a poor credit risk was shared by two other conservative senators -- Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina -- who took the extraordinary step of advocating rejection of a colleague's pet project. Making matters worse, Thune worked as a paid lobbyist for the South Dakota-based railroad before his election to the Senate and has received political contributions from company executives...Whether this qualifies as an earmark is a matter of opinion. Coburn and DeMint contend that the loan is about policy. Normally, when senators dislike a colleague's protected project, they follow the chamber's politesse and swallow their objections. Not Coburn and DeMint, who since their election in 2004 have waged war on pork...