Washington reporter Sherman found one Minnesota member eager to disclose requests, another opposed to the idea, and most mum:
Earmarks are items inserted into bills that provide funding for projects in a memberÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s district.
The network, styling the inquiry as a kind of test of the new Congress’s stated commitment to openness, said it asked all members of the House for their earmark requests and fewer than 100 have responded.
Rep. Tim Walz, first-term Democrat from Minnesota’s First District, released all of his 38 earmark requests.
Rep. Jim Oberstar, the veteran Democrat from the Eighth District, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will not release any earmarks, a spokesperson said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“JimÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s position is he wants to have a situation where a member is free to make a request, explore the option to see if he can get the funding and if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s some reason it can’t go forward they can’t be blamed,Ã¢â‚¬Â said John Schadl, OberstarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s press secretary.
WalzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s camp took a completely different approach.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something our district is interested in, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re glad to release it,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Meredith Salsbery, WalzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s communication director.
As of the end of last week, no other members from Minnesota had responded one way or another to CNN.