Earmark investigation: Rubén Hinojosa on Mercedes, Tex., road improvement

February 7, 2012

In 2009, Hinojosa obtained a $665,000 earmark to help improve a road next to a 3.7-acre commercial property his family partnership was developing and near the family food processing plant in which he owned stock in Mercedes, Tex. The appropriation was one of two Hinojosa secured for transportation projects that year.

See Rubén Hinojosa’s earmark here

Thirty-three members of Congress have steered more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or near the lawmakers’ own property, according to a Washington Post investigation. Under the ethics rules Congress has written for itself, this is both legal and undisclosed.

 

In the first review of its kind, The Post analyzed public records on the holdings of all 535 members and compared them with earmarks members had sought for pet projects, most of them since 2008. The process uncovered appropriations for work in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members. The review also found 16 lawmakers who sent tax dollars to companies, colleges or community programs where their spouses, children or parents work as salaried employees or serve on boards.

More from Capitol Assets:

Capitol Assets: A Washington Post investigation

Interactive: Mapping the earmarks

Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers properties

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