Once again, Congressman Walz is praised for his prudent choices for earmarks in the district. The Post Bulletin editorial board writes in Regional earmarks are well spent:
Those are just some of the earmarks that First District Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, helped bring to southeastern Minnesota, and we must say that we don't see anything remotely pork-like in any of these projects and programs. Rather, they have the potential to change many lives for the better.
That's not to say that the earmarking process is even modestly efficient. It isn't. The bill Obama signed includes tax breaks for racetrack builders, rum producers in Puerto Rico and manufacturers of wooden arrows meant to be used by children (no, we're not making this up.) Also included is $2 million to promote astronomy in Hawaii, and perhaps most fittingly of all, $1.7 million to study odors from hog farms in Iowa.
Obviously, there's no shortage of waste. Everyone knows it, but the rules in Congress seem to be "I won't raise a fuss about your pet projects if you grant me the same courtesy." We doubt that one lawmaker actually read every earmark in the spending bill, and the same thing almost certainly can be said of President Obama.
That needs to change. We hope Obama follows through on his pledge to do better next time, to weed out the blatant "bridges to nowhere" while funding projects and programs that truly are good investments.
But for now, we're simply glad that southern Minnesota can accept its share of earmarks with no apologies. [emphasis added]
And given Walz's openness in releasing his list of budget requests and posting them online, we're wondering if transparency means never having to say you're sorry. Perhaps more representatives will let the sun shine on their earmarks.
The Worthington Globe reports Jackson Armory receives funding via the Recovery Act, aka the stimulus. KSTP-TV took note of the 2 regional airports awarded $1.5M in Mankato and Albert Lea. The Albert Lea Tribune says Walz announces airport funds for Albert Lea:
Walz speaks to the issue in Couple Copes with a Medical Mistake:
. . .According to the Institute of Medicine, medical mistakes cause between 44 and 98 thousand deaths or injures every year.
Surpassing those who die from aids, breast cancer and car accidents.
"This is part of the health care reform, we can not wave a magic wand. Medical mistakes, they are a 6 billion dollar a year problem and that does not even include the loss of life that may come with it," said Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz.
According to the Institute of Medicine there are currently no federal mandates forcing hospitals to release this information to the public.
“It’s always better to be informed and have those things out there. The goal is to have quality care and a lower cost,” said Walz.
The American Medical Association opposes making every mistakes public because doctors fear discussing them can lead to punishment and numerous lawsuits.
However in 2003 Minnesota was the first state to pass a law requiring all hospitals to report what they call “28 serious adverse events.” . . .
Public Citizen's Watch Dog blog looks at Walz's work to ban congressional insider trading in Insider Trading: How Congress Can Make Big Bucks at Our Expense:
Now also would be a good time to put an end to secret spending and insider trading immunity for government officials.
A recent piece of legislation proposes to do just that. Introduced by Reps. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act” (H.R. 682) would ensure that those with access to privileged "non-public information" gathered through oversight proceedings would not be able to use that information for personal benefit in securities and commodities trading.
Specifically, H.R. 682 would negate a little-known loophole in the law which could allow members of Congress as well as executive staffers and government officials to practice insider trading in order to enrich themselves as well as their associates. Of course, this type of insider trading would be wholly illegal for citizens like you and me.
The act would also be effective in combating corrupt lobbying practices, since lobbyists and stock traders ("political intelligence consultants") who haunt the halls of Congress precisely in order to glean insider tips from staff would also be banned from insider trading.
The legislation would require members of Congress and their staff to disclose stock transactions of $1,000 or more within 90 days, and require “political intelligence consultants” to register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and disclose their financial activities.
The time to pass this legislation is now, before our tax dollars pay for any more lucrative insider investments.
There's an action item here on the group's web site.