Public projects, private interests

The Post compared the annual financial disclosure reports filed by every member of Congress over the past decade to a wide range of public records. The resulting snapshot was then matched to earmarks and other spending provisions members sought for pet projects. The process uncovered nearly 50 members who helped direct millions of dollars in earmarks to projects that either held the potential to enhance the surroundings of a lawmaker's own property, or aided entities connected to their immediate family. Lawmakers said their earmarks and spending provisions were done to benefit the public, not their private interests.

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SOURCE: Property records, annual financial disclosure forms, OMB and Taxpayers for Common Sense earmark databases, Google Maps. Read more about how this project was reported.
GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, David Fallis, Scott Higham, Laris Karklis, Kimberly Kindy, Bobbye Pratt and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Feb. 6, 2012.

Where public projects meet private interests

Read about the 33 members of Congress who have directed more than $300 million in earmarks within about two miles of the lawmakers' own property.