Spring is coming to the nation’s capital, which means it’s time to start thinking about pork.
True, pork-barrel spending wasn’t supposed to happen under President Obama, and congressional Democrats are said to be considering a moratorium this year.
But it never hurts to plan, and members of the Minnesota congressional delegation, who hauled in $55 million in non-defense projects last year, are once again preparing their lists of earmarks.
Well, except Minnesota Republicans John Kline and Michele Bachmann, who swore off a few years ago, calling the process inherently corrupt.
But among those House members who partake (the money’s got to go somewhere) at least one has found a novel way to get public buy-in for pet projects back home.
Second-term Democrat Tim Walz says he is the first member of Congress to solicit public comment on earmark requests in advance of a March 19 deadline to submit them to the House Appropriations Committee.
His list of 99 earmark applications can be viewed and commented on at his Web site, walz.house.gov. Constituents should weigh in by close of business Thursday if they want their views to be considered. Since Friday, when judging opened, almost 400 people have done so.
Walz calls the process “open, accountable and transparent.” It’s either that, he argues, or watch the money be spent by “federal bureaucrats in Washington.”

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