Monday, July 19, 2010
"Norm Dicks' Earmarks"
Been a while since I posted on this blog, so here's a good opportunity. My latest cartoon did not make it into the Kitsap Sun this time, although it was nobody's fault... circumstances of the story changed a bit after I had finished the 'toon.
Rep. Norm Dicks has a long history of being quite generous in handing out earmarks to local companies, even some to campaign donors such as Port Townsend company Intellichek Mobilisa. Dicks has been under even more scrutiny lately, having emerged from an ethics investigation connected to earmarks, which lead to new self-imposed rules stating that he would "not approve requests for earmarks that are directed to for-profit entities." Of course, Dicks has also garnered attention as the newly-appointed chairman of the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, taking over for the late John Murtha.
A couple of weeks ago, the HuffPo Investigative Fund released a report suggesting that Dicks was already finding ways around this new rule, by funneling the earmarks to companies via non-profit groups. In this case, although the earmark was directed to the University of Washington, it appeared as though Intellichek Mobilisa was still receiving money, since they often worked closely with UW on such projects. After HuffPo broke the story, both Dicks and Intellicheck Mobilisa rather forcefully denied the report. And then, after the 'toon was done, it appeared that HuffPo was wavering and might not even stand by their own reporting.
I still think Dicks handled the earmark poorly from a P.R. standpoint if nothing else, even if he didn't technically do anything wrong. I haven't seen anyone deny the fact that the language in previous Intellichek Mobilisa earmarks is nearly identical to the UW earmark, which to me just looks bad. With all the increased scrutiny he's been under, I would've hoped he'd have handled it a bit more tactfully...
Posted by Abell Smith at 4:08 PM
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Saturday, April 03, 2010
"Eye On the Media"
This is a special cartoon that I did for Seattle paper Eat the State!, done in the tradition of the Onion or the Yes Men (see their classic spoof of an issue of the New York Times). ETS! has been a wonderful supporter of my cartoons for years, and it looked last week like this was going to have to be their last print issue. A bit of good news, though: they secured some last-minute funding, and will be around for at least three more issues, hopefully more.
And, I committed a bit of a cartoonist faux pas in this cartoon. When I was writing and drawing it, I had a cartoon image in my head of Glenn Beck as a blubbering mess, with tears streaming down his cheeks. Turns out there was a reason I had this image in my head... Matt did it a couple weeks ago. I guess this is kinda like unintentionally ripping off a "Ziggy," but not quite as embarrassing because I'm stealing from a much more talented cartoonist...
Posted by Abell Smith at 2:41 PM