"As a long-time and stalwart Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Mr. LaHood facilitated the incontinent spending that helped Republicans lose their majority in 2006. And he did so unapologetically, once telling a reporter for the Peoria Journal Star, "The reason I went on the Appropriations Committee, the reason other people go on the Appropriations Committee, is they know that it puts them in a position to know where the money is at, to know the people who are doling the money out and to be in the room when the money is being doled out."
Mr. LaHood was also among those who most resisted backbench GOP efforts to curb earmarks. "If people like Ray LaHood and others aren't able to earmark dollars, that money will be spent by some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.," he said earlier this year. "And who knows better how to spend money on worthwhile projects than a community and an individual Congressman?" We'll be fascinated to see how he interprets that governing dictum now that he's on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue."