In 2006, Sen. Obama requested an earmark $300,000 to replace and update the projector system at the Adler Planetarium. In 2008, he requested $3,000,000 for replacement of the projector system and other equipment in the Sky Theater. For reference, this is three times the amount he earmarked for the HIV/AIDS Policy and Research Institute at Chicago State University.
While the Adler Planetarium earmarks look normal on the surface, there is a catch. The Chairman and two of the Vice Chairman of the Adler Planetarium Board of Trustees raised a total of almost $250,000 for Sen. Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign. The Adler Planetarium was probably pleasantly surprised when they found that their earmark increased by $2.7 million dollars, in other words, by a factor of ten.
Bob Clegg continues to defend earmarks, and thinks we can reform the process. That's not even close to good enough. We need to abolish earmarks, and shut down these political slush funds once and for all.