RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Even though George Allen is the front runner for the Republican nomination, he hasn't won it yet. Chesterfield Tea Party Leader Jamie Radtke is among a group of challengers to Allen…and she just released a web ad that was very critical of Allen's first time as a member of the Senate.
"He voted for 40,000 earmarks," the ad says.
Did George Allen vote in favor of 40,000 earmarks in his six years in Washington? According to the reporters at Politifact Virginia, Radtke's claim is "mostly true".
Allen cast many votes during his time on Capitol Hill, including many budgets, which during that era in Washington, were filled with pet projects of lawmakers. He voted on every budget from 2002 to 2006. There were more than 52,000 earmarks approved during that time.
The Radtke campaign said it was conservative by cutting the number Allen approved by 25%, hence the 40,000 number. But it doesn't tell the whole story. Many of these earmarks were contained within massive appropriations bills…that if not passed funding for many important projects would go unfunded.
According to Politifact Virginia Reporter Sean Gorman, while Allen may not have supported every single pork project, he certainly did not take a stand against them and was often proud of the money he brought back to Virginia.
"Allen himself had said he is proud of every single earmark he had received. He had said that at a 2006 town hall meeting," Gorman said.
You can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com.