Let me get this straight: Tom Reynolds, a king of pork barrel spending, decided not to seek earmarks for his district on his way out of office as a matter of principle.
The words "Tom Reynolds" and "principle" do not belong in the same sentence. Not unless we're talking a comedy skit.
I mean, this is a guy who operated as one of the GOP's major bag men during the Dubya era, who provided a rubber-stamp vote for every danged fool idea the White House conjured up the past eight years. A guy who some people think gave political hacks a bad name.
Too harsh? Remember his use of children as human shields during the Mark Foley debacle?
As Jerry Zremski's story details, Reynolds brought home close to $200 million in earmarks over the years. His unnamed apologists said the decision to go cold turkey after opting to not run for re-election was part of an agreement among the GOP to hold off on earmarks until a more transparent system is put in place.
I'll state the obvious and note that the present process is largely a byproduct of the Republican leadership, which included Reynolds, when they controlled Congress.
Moreover, a lot of Republicans quickly forgot about the "deal," among them three other retiring House members who managed to bring tens of millions of dollars back to their districts.
Rather than principle, I figure Reynolds either got lazy on his way out the door or simply wanted to punctuate his exit with a one-finger salute to his constituents.
Message received, Tommy Boy.