EXPOSÉ ON THE JOURNAL: MR HEATH GOES TO WASHINGTON
The broadcast profiles SEATTLE TIMES reporters on the trail of how members of Congress have awarded federal dollars for questionable purposes to companies in local Congressional districts—often to companies whose executives, employees or PACs have made campaign contributions to their legislators.
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL and the PBS series EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS offer a hard and fresh look at how earmarks really work.
The broadcast profiles SEATTLE TIMES reporters on the trail of how members of Congress have awarded federal dollars for questionable purposes to companies in local Congressional districts—often to companies whose executives, employees or PACs have made campaign contributions to their legislators. The report also focuses on how earmarks for some products were added to the defense appropriations bill even in cases in which the military didn't want them in the first place. Example: a $4.65 million patrol boat the Coast Guard hadn't even asked for and decided it couldn't use was eventually given away by the Coast Guard to a California Sheriff's office. David Heath of the SEATTLE TIMES says: "They're selling a product to the military that they're not even using."
The TIMES reporters have kept their eyes on the bi-partisan issue of earmarks, recently tracking down earmarks by candidate: "John McCain abhors them. Hillary Rodham Clinton embraces them. Barack Obama does a little of both."
David Heath, one the of team of reporters, and EXPOSÉ producer Marc Shaffer will be answering viewer questions posted on our blog.
And check out these additional resources:
The Favor Factory: You can view the results of the SEATTLE TIMES investigation. Trace earmark dollars by state and representative.
Read David Heath's article "Defense Spending Bill Packed with $11.8b in Earmarks"
Watch EXPOSÉ Quid Pro Quo: Reporters Marcus Stern, Jerry Kammer and Dean Calbreath, along with Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense explain how "pay-to-play" works inside the Beltway.
ASK THE REPORTER AND PRODUCER
SEATTLE TIMES reporter David Heath and EXPOSÉ Producer Marc Shaffer take questions on the blog.
Sarah Chayes, author and former journalist who has been helping rebuild Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime, with a look at the front lines of America's war there.
Policies for the "Forgotten War"
Conversing with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, former NPR journalist Sarah Chayes discussed many of the complex challenges on the ground in Afghanistan, including what she suggests is a fundamental contradiction in American strategy:
“We’re paying a billion dollars a year to Pakistan, which is orchestrating the Taliban insurgency. So it’s actually U.S. taxpayer money that is paying for the insurgents, who are then killing – at the moment – Canadian troops... It’s been very clear to me, watching since 2002, that Pakistan has been buying us off by a well-timed delivery of an al-Qaeda operative, which has then caused us to look the other way about the Taliban... so this is why 99 % of the people in Kandahar believe that we are allied with the Taliban. Everybody thinks that America is allied with the Taliban.”