435,000 Reasons Why Ken Calvert is Staying Mum on GOP Pledge

Days after Republican congressional leaders unveiled their “Pledge to America,” GOP Rep. Ken Calvert is staying mum on the pledge’s lack of a ban on congressional earmarks, just five years after securing earmarks to sweeten one of his real estate deals to profit $435,000.

Calvert’s Democratic challenger, Corona-Norco Board of Education member Bill Hedrick, called on Calvert to address the GOP pledge’s lack of a ban on earmarks as well as the pledge’s lack of an earmark reform plan to prevent members of Congress from enriching themselves off of federal pork projects.

“My position has always been clear: earmarks need to be banned entirely. They are the currency of corruption,” Hedrick said. “Ken Calvert has four hundred and thirty five thousand reasons why he didn’t push for earmark reform in his party’s new pledge. He even ignores talking about earmark reform in his new YouTube video touting the pledge because he knows he has zero credibility when it comes to wasteful pork-barrel spending.”

In 2005, Calvert (R-Corona) used his congressional office to secure nearly $10 million in earmarks to improve the area surrounding his real estate property near March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County. After securing the millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded earmarks, he sold the property and made a profit of $435,000 – 80 percent – less than a year after he purchased it.

Calvert’s abuse of earmarks made him the subject of a Fox News special report: “Porked: Earmarks for Profit” and various good-government watchdog groups criticized him for his abuse of earmarks.