Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani calls for an end to congressional earmarks, special projects that lawmakers insert in spending bills — at the same time his law firm strives to promote them.
In October, Giuliani vowed that if he wins the Republican nomination, the GOP will again be “clearly rooted in fiscal discipline.” He told the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which supports spending and tax cuts, that meant “restraining spending, no more earmarks, low taxes.”
Earlier he told Fox News in an interview: “You have to end earmarks.”
But just weeks after the Americans for Prosperity Foundation interview, his law firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP won $3 million worth of earmarks for clients.
“It’s a bit hypocritical,” Republican consultant Eddie Mahe told Bloomberg.com.
Those include $1 million for Calspan Corp. to help military pilots control their aircraft, $1.2 million for United Protective Technologies for protective treatments for helicopter windshields, and $800,000 for AtHoc Inc. for an emergency notification system for the Air Force, Bloomberg reports.
The three firms paid Bracewell $140,000 during the first half of this year, according to Senate records.
Bracewell & Giuliani sought federal earmarks for 14 companies this year, and of those, 11 hired the law firm after Giuliani joined it in March 2005.
Asked about the law firm’s work on behalf of earmark-seeking companies, Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella said: “Mayor Giuliani is running for president on his own ideas, and that includes putting an end to anonymous and irresponsible earmarks.”
In fact, President Bush signed a new ethics law in September requiring the sponsors of earmarks to be identified.
Earmarks cost taxpayers an estimated $13 billion this year.
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