U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin calls them priority budget appropriations requests. Others call them earmarks. Regardless of terminology Maryland's junior senator has posted the complete list of his fiscal 2010 requests for federal spending in Maryland on his Senate web site as required.
Several of the big-ticket requests deal with transportation, and there are no "bridges to nowhere" in his requests as far as I can see.
"I have carefully vetted every request for Fiscal Year 2010 to ensure that they reflect our regional and national priorities and will help Maryland meet the challenges of the future," Cardin said is a news release.
Transportation requests include:
--$22.5 milion for dredging of Baltimore harbor.
--$10 million for Baltimore's proposed Red Line from Woodlawn to Bayview.
--$15 million for the Maryland Transit Administration to replace aging buses and bus facilities.
--$5 million for intersection improvements around Fort Meade related to an influx of workers due to military base relocation.
--$2.6 million for Howard County to replace its gas-powered buses with hybrid models.
--$2.47 million for port security projects.
All of these projects appear to be in line with the priorities of the Maryland Department of Transportation.