Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) helped secure $2.7 million in earmarks from 2004 to 2008 to improve the Eastern Market Metro stop and two nearby public parks, which are four blocks from Lewis’s D.C. home. The earmarks are part of a large-scale redevelopment effort for the historic Barracks Row corridor, which is eight blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The earmarks have been previously reported by several media outlets. The redevelopment is being credited with improving property values in the area. Lewis’s row house was valued at $434,260 in 2004, according to D.C. property assessor records. It is now valued at $928,170, but property values in the Capitol Hill area overall have been on the rise during those years and real estate experts say there is no way to determine if the redevelopment played a role in the congressman’s rising property value.
See Jerry Lewis’ 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.
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