Friday, May 29, 2009

Goodman Sets Criteria For Earmarks

Calling the current federal appropriations process "broken," Sen. Jack Goodman announced a set of criteria Friday that would guide him in determining if he'd request an earmark.
"I think that our appropriation process in Washington is very broken and the transparency and accountability we need are not there," Goodman said, flanked by Ozarks area lawmakers at a Friday morning Springfield event.
The 3 questions Goodman pledges to ask each time he considers a request:
-Is the request for funds for an appropriate government function -- or could the private sector handle it better?
-Is it an appropriate federal government function?
-Is this the most transparent and efficient way to meet the need?
Goodman promised to oppose any federal spending request that does not bring an affirmative response to all 3 of the above questions.
"Until we get a handle on the abuse of discretionary spending of taxpayer dollars, we're not going to bring our country back where we need to be," he said.



The Mt. Vernon State Senator also announced a group of endorsements from area lawmakers, including three from Sen. Gary Nodler's backyard in the Joplin area.
From the eastern/central part of the district, they include: Rep. Mike Cunningham, Rep. Charlie Denison, Rep. Don Ruzicka, Rep. David Sater, Sen. Delbert Scott, Rep. Shane Schoeller, Rep. Maynard Wallace, Rep. Jay Wasson, Rep. Ray Weter and Rep. Dennis Wood.
Notable is the 3 western representatives that are backing Goodman over Sen. Gary Nodler: Those are Rep. Ed Emery from Lamar, Rep. Kevin Wilson from Neosho and Rep. Marilyn Ruestman from Joplin.
The endorsement list also included 50 names of county officials in the 7th District.
Rep. Dennis Wood tells The Notebook: "Fiscal responsibility is what he's all about. That's Jack Goodman."
Former Greene County Sheriff Jack Merritt is also backing Goodman, telling The Notebook: "Ask Gary Nodler how many law enforcement officers are supporting him. Probably not many."
Added that Nodler "has not been there" on key issues for police and Sheriff's departments.
Rep. Ed Emery: "I like Jack's character. I believe Jack is committed to doing the right thing regardless of politics. I think he has humility with conviction. He strikes me to someone who is remarkably humble, even though he has reason not to be. He works issues without personalizing them at the Capitol."
Says Nodler never asked him for an endorsement, but that he informed Nodler that he was supporting Goodman
"Gary certainly has more years invested in government. But I don't necessarily think experience is the final trump card," Rep. Emery said. Says Goodman has "excellent temperament." On a difference between Nodler & Goodman: "I don't know I've ever felt I have the influence with Gary as I do with Jack. I think Gary can point to things as a fighter. I think Jack is a more judicious fighter."
Rep. Kevin Wilson: "I've seen Jack in action, under pressure. I know Jack's principals do not waver. He's a professional and a good friend." Asked about an experience gap between Goodman & Nodler, Wilson dismissed it. "I think you look at experience, he was Assistant Majority Floor Leader in the House and Senate. I would put Jack's experience in government up against anybody in this race." Declined to directly compare Goodman & Nodler.
Notes that Sen. Nodler did approach him for an endorsement, but told him he had already committed himself to Goodman. "I said I was a man of my word," Rep. Wilson said.

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