Anti-Marine Berkeley May Lose Earmarks

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2008 03:19 PM

By Newsmax Staff

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The city council in Berkeley, Calif., is set to take action Tuesday night in response to proposed legislation to strip $2 million in earmarks from the liberal city in retaliation for its actions against the U.S. Marines.

As Newsmax has reported, the council in January voted to advise the Marines that their downtown recruitment office was not welcome and that they would be considered “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” if they chose to stay.

“This is a free country. The city of Berkeley can do what it wants to do,” Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., told Newsmax correspondent Kenneth R. Timmerman in a conference call with conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation.

“Just don’t have the rest of the country subsidize them.”

The $2 million in federal funding that would be stripped by the “Semper Fi Act of 2008” — proposed by Rep. Campbell and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. — includes $243,000 in taxpayer dollars for the Chez Panisse restaurant to provide gourmet organic school lunches in the Berkeley School District.

According to the earmark language, Chez Panisse is dedicated to “environmental harmony” and their menu features "Comté cheese soufflé with mâche salad," "Meyer lemon éclairs with huckleberry coulis," and "Chicory salad with creamy anchovy vinaigrette and olive toast."

The city council is now scheduled to consider a second resolution rescinding the earlier message to the Marines.

Rep. Campbell, who had supported Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, also said he expected that John McCain pledge at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he would never sign a bill with earmarks would be “a central part of his campaign.”

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