Another letter to Senator McCain

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Dear Senator McCain (and staff),

I am an independent voter who leans Republican most of the time. I was initially a strong supporter of Senator McCain and have become significantly less excited about the campaign beginning in early August - to the point that I now call myself undecided. I am placing the burden on Senator McCain to prove to me that his rhetoric is heartfelt and not empty. (You may count me as one voter who believes the Sarah Palin choice was a poor one.)

Yesterday, I learned that the Senate will take up the rescue bill this evening and I assumed that the only changes were the FDIC provisions being discussed in the media. However, I saw the following blog post this afternoon and feel that if there are indeed special interest earmarks (as described below) in this bill that it is not a good government solution to the problem.

As I stated above, it is up to Senator McCain to earn my vote now (as logical or illogical as that may be - it's how I feel). He can take a long step in that direction by filibustering any attempt to pollute the rescue bill with non essential wasteful spending.

I want to see a true commitment to pragmatic fiscal conservatism. Even though the very nature of the Secretary's plan is abhorrent to me, I agree that it is necessary. However, tack-on provisions that are business as usual are wrong and have no place in a bill such as this.

Furthermore, I would like to see the campaign placing a much higher priority on a balanced budget. Debt is the root cause of our current economic woes. All solutions to these problems are only temporary until the government's leverage ratio is decreased.

Please feel free to read this letter on the Senate floor during the course of your filibuster if you need some material to fill the time. This bill is odious to the concept of good government. Please don't let the urgent nature of the bill force you into voting for a bill laden with bad government.

Byron Clarke
Chicago, IL

A few examples of those earmarks:

New tax earmarks in Bailout bill

* Film and Television Productions (Up to $15,000,000.00; Sec. 502)
* Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
* 6 page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)

Tax earmark "extenders" in the bailout bill

* Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
* American Samoa (Sec. 309)
* Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
* Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
* Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
* Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
* Railroads (Sec. 316)
* Auto Racing Tracks (317)
* District of Columbia (Sec. 322)
* Wool Research (Sec. 325)