Democratic Senate hopeful Rodney Glassman promised Friday to abandon the anti-earmark policy of incumbent John McCain.
Glassman said McCain’s refusal to put funding for Arizona projects and programs into federal legislation has made the state and its taxpayers the losers. The result, he said, is that money paid in federal taxes is more likely to wind up in other states.
He acknowledged that McCain is against all earmarks, not just for Arizona projects.
But Glassman said McCain has been unable to put a halt to the practice nationwide.
“After 30 years in Washington, D.C., of John McCain advocating against bringing tax dollars home, nothing has changed,’’ Glassman said. So Glassman said the state might as well have a senator who’s willing to work the system.
“Arizonans have been paying the price for John McCain’s political posturing,’’ he said. “It’s time for us to have someone who puts getting Arizonans back to work as their first priority.’’
But McCain campaign press aide Brian Rogers said that’s based on a flawed premise that Arizona can bring home more federal dollars by playing the earmark game.
“When you put spending into any bill in the dead of night, states like Arizona are always going to lose out to states like California that has four times as many members of Congress,’’ he said. “When they just have that many more people who are able to get their claws into the federal spending pot, it’s a corrupt system.’’
But figures prepared by LegiStorm, a website that monitors federal spending and related issues, shows that Arizona does even worse than might otherwise be envisioned by its relative population.
It shows that in the last three budget years combined, California had the most earmarks, approaching $2.9 billion. Other large states also were near the top of the list including New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia.
By contrast, Arizona came in 43rd of all the states, at $323.5 million, behind states like Montana, North Dakota, Kansas and Iowa.
Rogers said while McCain does not seek earmarks, he does pursue federal funding for certain Arizona projects.
“He was involved in securing some needed money down in Tucson for light rail,’’ Rogers said. And he said McCain has worked hard to get Luke Air Force Base chosen as training sites for the new F-35 fighter.
The difference, said Rogers, is these were technically not “earmarks,’’ saying those funding provisions tucked into federal spending bills by individual lawmakers. He said the cash for the Tucson light rail project is different.
“This was all judged through an open process where the United States Congress is able to judge what are priorities,’’ Rogers said. “It was done all in the light of day.’’
Glassman poked fun of McCain’s anti-earmark efforts, saying it fits the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But Rogers said that doesn’t make McCain’s stance wrong, even if a difference one would result in more federal dollars for Arizona.
“Arizona voters don’t want a Senate who just goes along to get along,’’ Rogers said.
Glassman also defended his 2005 doctoral dissertation while attending the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, saying he did not plagarize the work of others in the document.
He did not deny that there are sentences in both the introduction and the section on background literature which are taken word-for-word from other works.
"In my literature review, there are statements made that came from other researchers that were placed into my literature review as a component of developing the paradigm of pre-existing literature that exists in the field that I was studying,'' Glassman said. But he said that did not amount to plagarism.
"My professors were familiar with my literature review, familiar with my refences, and they did thorough readings nearly a dozen times to go through and make sure we had a product that was acceptable, that could be published, which it was, and that eventually received awards, awards that they were included on as well,'' he said.
But Glassman would not specifically answer whether those professors were aware that language was taken, verbatim, from those other sources and not placed into quotation marks. Instead, he said that back of the dissertation has a list of sources cited, though not attributing any specific quotes in the body of the paper to any specific source.
Glassman, running far behind McCain in the polls, also announced he will be traveling around the state in the month before the election, inviting McCain to come along and debate him in various locations. Rogers, however, said the senator isn’t going to do more than that single hour-long televised debate conducted last weekend.