When is an Earmark not an Earmark?

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

One of the side effects of finally knowing where I’m going to live at the end of next month is that I’m now paying a lot more attention to news stories involving my future Council member, Harry Thomas of Ward 5. Mike DeBonis reports in the City Paper this week that Councilman Thomas was instrumental in steering money toward certain nonprofit programs in the Ward, and argues that while the grants weren’t made through the earmark process, the fact that they weren’t competitively bid makes them earmarks in spirit, even while Council Chair Vincent Gray is banning earmarks in an effort to clean up the corruption in the process.

While agreeing with DeBonis that the grants should have gone through the normal bid process to keep everything above-board and without the appearance of preferential treatment, I continue to think it’s a pretty disgraceful state of affairs that we have a situation where a member of the Council can’t provide an opinion on some anti-gang programs in his Ward (which, you may have noticed, has a bit of a crime problem) because a different member of the Council seems to have corruption and grift trailing in his wake wherever he goes.

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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