WASHINGTON--President Obama signed an omnibus spending bill for fy 2009 on Wednesday, loaded with thousands of controversial earmarks. Obama campaigned against these clout projects--many very worthy, some not, all clouted in outside the regular approps process--but did not veto the bill because it would mire him in a battle he did not want to fight now. Rather, he outlined in a speech Wednesday a process to bring some order to the allocation of special projects--next time.
Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has taken incoming because he was the sponsor or co-sponsor of 16 earmarks. Other members of the Obama administration who are former members of Congress also had their pet projects in the bill.
Obama's defenders note that the much larger stimulus bill passed with no earmarks. One bill with earmarks. One bigger bill without.
Here's a list of all Illinois earmarks. Source: Taxpayers for Common Sense.