5 December 2004
Snert and Ernie
From the Department of Half a Loaf:
A mid-level House aide said yesterday that he was the one who, during last month's drafting of a huge spending bill, added a provision that could give staffers on the House and Senate appropriations committees broad access to Americans' tax returns.
Richard E. Efford, a 19-year veteran of the House Appropriations Committee, said he did not inform any elected official before inserting the provision and advised his immediate boss, Rep. Ernest J. Istook Jr. (R-Okla.), only after it was too late to make changes.
Per The Washington Post.
Istook doesn't have anything to worry about; even if he's named as the culprit, some staffer will be sacked and things will be forgotten the next day.
Mr Efford, so far, still has his job, thus "half a loaf."
More bothersome, though, is this (same WaPo article):
[Efford] said other House and Senate appropriations staffers in both parties were aware of the provision, however, and believed it gave them needed authority to enter facilities of the Internal Revenue Service to inspect how taxpayer funds were being used.
"I would guess we all thought it was a housekeeping thing that would help our bosses but did not need to be elevated up to them," said Efford, who described himself as "dumbfounded" by the uproar.
Apparently nobody on Committee staff gives the farging stuff more than a perfunctory once-over after it's written.Posted at 1:49 PM to Political Science Fiction