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Barnwell County Chairman’s Op-ed

CM Capture 1Over the weekend Barnwell County Republican Party Chairman, Ben Kinlaw, wrote an op-ed for The People Sentinel. Chairman Kinlaw voiced his support for Senator Jim DeMint in his battle against frivolous Congressional earmarks. It was written in response Representative Bakari Seller’s op-ed written last week. In case you missed the article, we have attached it below.

Dear Editor,

On Sept. 30 in a statewide newspaper, I read state Rep. Bakari Sellers’ column attacking U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and his opposition to Congressional earmarks.

I was greatly outraged by the mentality of, “if we don’t put in for government handouts, someone else is going to get our share.” I applaud Sen. DeMint for standing by his campaign promises, holding his ground and not giving in to the special interest groups.

The vast majority of earmarks go to congressmen and senators who lead the Appropriations Committee – the so-called appropriators. They write the annual funding bills and reserve most of the earmark funding for the projects they support.

Sometimes these are projects in their home states, and sometimes the projects are supported by their campaign donors. Congressmen and senators who aren’t on the Appropriations Committees are left to fight for the table scraps.

In this system, there is no honest assessment of how these taxpayer funds could be used to best achieve our national goals. Each appropriator is left to his own discretion. This system is dangerously open to corruption and we have witnessed some of these appropriators sentenced on bribery and corruption charges.

Rep. Sellers seems to think $34 million in funding for South Carolina is worth the country funneling $17 billion into this broken system in 2008 alone. If South Carolina can only expect one fifth of one percent, shouldn’t our members of Congress be making reform their top priority?

Why should Sen. DeMint compromise his fight to save the U.S. taxpayer, because of the wastefulness of Congressional appropriators?

If they refuse to turn Sen. DeMint’s foregone earmarks into tax rebates or debt repayment, they should be the target of Rep. Sellers’ ire and not Sen. DeMint.

Benny Kinlaw
Barnwell County
Republican Party