A Delegate Candidate Explains What Makes This Earmark a Good One
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Congressional earmarks have gotten a bad reputation. But not all earmarks -- pet projects for a lawmaker's home district -- are created equal, according to District 20 House of Delegates candidate Aaron Klein .
The former chief economist to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D) is touting his role in trying to secure $500,000 in federal money to open the south side entrance of the Silver Spring Metro station.
"An absolute no-brainer" was how Klein described it this week. "Some projects are simply common sense."
The money was included in the fiscal 2007 spending bill passed by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, treasury, the judiciary, housing and urban development and related agencies. The bill must be approved by the full Senate and clear a House-Senate conference committee.
The opening is meant to make it easier for Metro commuters before construction of the Silver Spring Transit Center begins.
"For too long, we have had a plexiglass wall where we should have an accessible entrance. Today, we are one step closer to enhancing the walkability and livability of Silver Spring," said Klein, who made the case for the entrance before the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and worked on the issue as part of Sarbanes's team.
The project is expected to cost $600,000. The transit authority would cover $100,000, and the federal government would pick up the remaining $500,000.
District 20 includes Takoma Park and parts of Silver Spring.
Those Student Endorsements
The endorsement of District 20 Senate candidate Jamie Raskin by the Montgomery College Democrats has sparked something of a repeat of the controversy surrounding his support from another student group.
Brad J. Stewart , vice president and provost of the college's Takoma Park-Silver Spring campus, e-mailed Raskin last week to ask him to remove the club's endorsement from his Web site.
"The presentation on your website implies that this is an official endorsement by the college, something we do not allow," Stewart wrote.
In his reply, Raskin called the request "ridiculous" and asked Stewart why no other candidates with similar Web site displays were asked to remove the Democrats' logo. He also questioned why Stewart would copy the message to an e-mail address that belongs to Lorraine Pearsall , a supporter of his opponent, state Sen. Ida G. Ruben (D).