Fox News: The 11 House Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak who dropped their opposition to health care reform legislation mere hours before the final vote have requested $3.4 billion in earmarks -- and one watchdog group wants to know whether the money represents business as usual or political payoffs.
The Sunlight Foundation says it plans to track the earmark requests, which were put in one day after health care reform cleared Congress, to see whether they're approved and whether it appears lawmakers are being rewarded for their vote.
The individual earmarks requests from each of those lawmakers range from $20 million to $1.4 billion. Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money than they did a year ago. Stupak requested $579 million.
Rep. Jerry Costello of Illinois.: $1,418.7 million ($256.4 million in 2010)
Rep. Solomon Ortiz of Texas: $618 million ($726.1 million in 2010)
Stupak of Michigan: $578.9 million
Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio: $332.2 million
Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio: $294 million ($305.7 million in 2010)
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania: $236.8 million ($54 million in 2010)
Rep. James Oberstar of Minnesota.: $207 million ($226 million in 2010)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana.: $115.4 million ($82.3 million in 2010)
Rep. Charles Wilson of Ohio: $84 million ($62.3 million in 2010)
Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania.: $67.1 million
Rep. Joseph Donnelly of Indiana: $19.8 million ($11.65 million in 2010)
The Sunlight Foundation also says it is going to look at Republican earmarks. House Republicans say they are not requesting any earmarks for the next fiscal year, but Allison said the Sunlight Foundation will watch GOP senators to see if they appear to be putting in earmark requests for their House colleagues. Ya got to love these Democrats and their new way of doing politics.