October 17, 2007

Harkin's Earmark For La Raza

Senator Tom Harkin must believe that Iowans have a vested interest in the agenda of the National Council of La Raza. The group, which has positioned itself on the forefront of the blanket amnesty approach to immigration and opposed to efforts to enforce the border, will get a nice $500,000 grant from Harkin, a part of the 2008 HHS appropriations bill that still hasn't found its way to the floor of the Democratic-controlled Senate. The grant funds "technical assistance on Hispanic workforce issues including capacity building. Language barriers, and health care job training”, a generic description that means anything La Raza wants it to mean.

This looks like a bargain for La Raza. Its officers only contributed $1500 to Harkin's last campaign, and they got a half-million dollar grant in return. That's a 30-fold return on investment, an excellent choice of politicians in the free market of earmarking and backscratching. Harkin doesn't bother to mention his largesse to La Raza on his official Senate website, even though it's chock-full of other announcements of his benificence (with our tax dollars) towards Iowa and America.

La Raza specifically disavows the reconquista and Aztlan manifestos on its website. I'm sure they do valuable work in many areas. I see no reason why the US government has to fund those activities, especially through a process that has no oversight and no accountability for either Harkin or NCLR in how those monies get spent. Perhaps Harkin might want to add an explanation for federal funding of NCLR's operations.


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