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Monday, August 21, 2006

Moving Politics Forward, Tammy Lee Stands Up to Irresponsible Government Spending

Tammy Lee stood up today as an Independent voice calling for an end to Congressional Earmarking, otherwise known as 'pork-barrel spending'. “This pattern of reckless, irresponsible special interest spending is the reason why Republicans and Democrats, together in Congress, have racked up nearly $10 trillion in federal debt and are predicted to blow the budget by $260 billion this year alone,” Lee said.

While discussing the need for change, Lee also highlighted what she views as three of the most egregious examples of congressional earmarks, "The 3 Big Piggies";

The 3 Big Piggies

1. $223 million for The Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska – sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
2. $50 million for an indoor rainforest project in Coralville Iowa - added by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
3. $33.9 million for the Maui Space Surveillance System operations and research – added by Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)

Lee commented, “Senator Ted Stevens spent $223 million for the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Senator Chuck Grassley spent $50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa. And Senator Daniel Inouye spent $33.9 million on the Maui Space Surveillance System.” Lee quipped, “Inouye is taking the illegal alien threat to a whole new level of pork spending.”

Lee added, "You can properly represent your state’s interests and fund necessary projects for transportation, public education, alternative energy and healthcare research by going through the process the right way – not sneaking in pet pork projects. All funding requests should be required to see the light of day and be discussed at Congressional hearings - not added in during secretive committee reports.”

Election year politics as usual or is Tammy Lee from a different breed of candidates? Most would say "yes, election year politics as usual," because ANY reasonable candidate would call for an end to pork-barrell spending to get votes this November. Tammy Lee is different as she is the only candidate to both stand-up against wasteful spending AND propose a way to fix it.

Lee Proposes Merit-Based Metrics for Appropriations Spending

Lee noted that Minnesota has a strong track record of solid representation from its members of Congress, and ranks 46th in “pork per capital by state” according to the taxpayer’s watch group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). However, she added, other states also need to be held more accountable for their pork barrel appropriations in order to reign in deficit spending and balance the budget.

To do this, Lee is proposing a new plan of Merit-based Metrics for determining the merit of appropriations projects, rather than just allowing powerful members of Congress to waste taxpayer dollars.

Lee said Appropriations spending measures should be required to meet at least one of the following requirements:

• Benefit a significant number of people, not just one special interest group, and have at least one other member of Congress co-sponsor the request.
• Advance an important policy issue (i.e. fund important pioneering medical research at the University of Minnesota to work toward a cure that will benefit many people)
• Promote national commerce (i.e. transportation funding to rural states where cross-country transit occurs for trucking and shipping)
• Require competitive bidding
• Be discussed in open Congressional hearings

Lee concluded, “Under President Bush’s leadership, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, pork project spending has increased every single year. Washington needs a fiscal sobriety check and a 12-step program for its addiction to pork projects. It’s time to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington and I am the only candidate who has committed to doing that – who can and will get the job done.”

Why Tammy Lee?

Tammy Lee is not your typical politician, infact, she isn’t a politician at all. Minnesota is in the fortunate position of having three major political parties. Tammy Lee is the Independence Party endorsed candidate for the 5th Congressional District. The MN IP is the youngest of the major political parties and is comprised of citizens who are tired of partisan politics and people putting Party before Principle. The future of the IP depends upon their elected officials getting results for the people, not for the party. Therefore Tammy Lee will be the first Independent Congresswoman and is bound neither to one special interest group, nor to an elite group of party officials who dictate the direction of the party. Tammy Lee answers only to the 610,000+ voters of the 5th CD. In a personal visit at campaign headquarters Tammy said “Give me a chance, it’s only a two year term. If you don’t like me or I am ineffective after the next two years, then get rid of me.”

Tammy Lee is the logical choice for the 5th CD. Her campaign is focused upon issues which members of the 5th CD find important:

• Responsible Fiscal Policies to Spend Less and Get Better Government
• Responsible Investments to Strengthen Our Public Schools
• Responsible and Affordable Ways to Reform Healthcare
• Responsible Investments in Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources
• Responsible Domestic Agenda Balanced with Rational Foreign Policies

For more information on Tammy Lee, visit, or call 612-767-3047.