In touting his own willingness to publish his earmark requests, the Obama campaign website highlights this Sun-Times excerpt:
The Chicago Sun-Times wrote in an editorial, "As valuable as it has already been to see the earmarks and their sponsors at the subcommittee stage, it's even more valuable to see the requests from members before they even make it that far. That's why we applaud Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel and GOP Representatives Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert and Mark Kirk for having the courage to disclose every earmark request, whether successful or not. The sooner the public can start scrutinizing the earmarks -- which are, after all, demands for taxpayers to fund specific projects -- the sooner it can start separating the wheat from the chaff. We encourage every member of Congress to do the same. The more glare, the more scrutiny, the better the process will work."
In sharp contrast Seals' position is that he won't have to publish any earmark requests because he won't ask for any, leaving the VA, local schools and other worthy local projects out of luck. Check out this story for a more detailed discussion of how Seals would vote on earmarks.
There needs to be tough reform of the earmark system. The elected officials cited by the Sun-Times are champions of that reform. The Seals approach shows a basic lack of understanding of how government works and/or naiveté that would have terrible consequences for 10th District programs that deserve federal funding.