The Clarion-Ledger, 10/27/8

In a Senate campaign with few differences on key issues, one stands out: Sen. Roger Wicker and his rival, former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, have opposing views when it comes to ways of obtaining federal money.

Musgrove, a Democrat, has taken issue with earmarks, or funding for local projects.

Wicker, a Republican, defends the practice as a job creator.

There are questions, however, about the effectiveness of Musgrove’s attacks.

Bill Allison, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit that seeks transparency in government, said voters like “good, old-fashioned pork-barrel politics,” unless it’s proven to be wasteful, linked to campaign donations or tainted by corruption in other ways.

“There’s a reason members of Congress ask for earmarks,” Allison said. “It’s popular with constituents.”