The more recent wave of talk about congressional earmarks - following the wave of disgust with them last year - is that they aren't inherently bad things, that members of Congress probably ought to have a role in spending issues, but that more public visibility of the process is needed.
That's where Idaho Representative Mike Simpson came down, and he has put his money (requests) where his talk is. Today he released an explanatory statement about earmarks and his involvement with them, and his proposals of them in the current budget cycle. Then he also posted the list of what he has proposed in Congress.
Simpson: "I also want to be clear that the projects I am requesting represent only a portion of those submitted to me this year. Many did not make the cut. The projects I have submitted are focused largely on growing the Idaho National Laboratory and the jobs it provides for eastern Idaho, expanding course offerings at Idaho’s colleges and universities, improving Idaho’s water and transportation infrastructure, preserving and conserving Idaho’s native species and public lands, and growing jobs and opportunities in Idaho’s high-tech and health-related economies."
We'd suggest as well that requests from public entities be released too. But Simpson's effort is solid, clear and highly visible.