WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Bruce Springsteen belted out his working-class anthems on the floor of the Verizon Center last May, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, was raising money in the privacy of a luxury suite overlooking the stage. Ten other members of Congress were also asking for cash that night. At least 19 congressional fundraisers were held at Springsteen’s two Washington concerts last year, almost half of them in boxes rented from companies or organizations with business before the committees of the lawmakers who used them.
A new, searchable database lets you sift through $20 billion in congressional pork, also known as earmarks, for the last two fiscal years. The data shows Georgia collected $2.1 billion of the national total. Just looking at “solo” sponsorship, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop led Georgia’s congressional delegation with $46.9 million directed to the state in FY 2008 and 2009.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has raised nearly $605,000 in campaign funds this year, more than any other Georgia congressman, new financial disclosures show. To do that, he has spent heavily on fund-raising, including $72,652 paid to three companies affiliated with Paul Kilgore, his campaign treasurer.