Congress earmarked more than $450 million in taxpayer money for homeland security purposes between the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years, according to the analysis conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Critics say that at best, earmarks frequently ignore procedures designed by the federal government to ensure taxpayer funds are well spent. At worst, they’re used to reward campaign contributors or powerful political constituents in a lawmaker’s district. Use the interactive chart below to see which states are bringing home the most. Select a state from the drop-down menu to isolate details for individual earmarks, such as which member of Congress sponsored it and where the money’s going. Figures used were extracted from earmark disclosure lists released to the public. Earmarks for the 2011 fiscal year are contained in draft appropriations legislation for homeland security and have yet to be finalized by Congress.
G.W. Schulz is a reporter for Reveal, covering security, privacy, technology and criminal justice. Since joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2008, he's reported stories for NPR, KQED, Wired.com, The Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones and more. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and was an early contributor to The Chauncey Bailey Project, which won a Tom Renner Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2008. Schulz also has won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Chapter. He graduated from the University of Kansas and is based in Austin, Texas.More by G.W. Schulz