To House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey:
I read with interest news reports that you may only include earmarks in last-minute, un-amendable conference reports, as opposed to amendable House appropriations bills, because you and your staff reportedly need "extra time to evaluate the 36,000-plus earmark requests members have submitted to the Appropriations Committee this year."
You have also been quoted you as saying: "I think we have a helluva lot more ability [to root out bad earmarks] than the individual working alone."
Chairman Obey, I share your concern about unworthy projects receiving federal funding due to a lack of careful and thoughtful evaluation, and I agree that one individual working alone would have a very hard time completing this task in a timely manner.
Therefore, I would like to personally volunteer my time to help you and your staff in evaluating this year's earmark requests.
As you know, Internet technology has made research faster and easier than at any previous time in human history. By releasing your 36,000 earmark requests publicly, I and other taxpayers across the country could work together in a cooperative effort to determine which Members of Congress may have financial conflicts attached to their earmark requests, which local projects may be unworthy of federal funding and which may have value to the taxpayers.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I and millions of my fellow taxpayers across America stand ready to help you evaluate these 36,000 earmarks requests. After all, we are the ones who are paying for these requested projects -- the least we can do is help you evaluate their merit.
Disclaimer: Of course, this is all contigent on Representative Obey releasing the earmarks to the public.