Good evening, all.

My previous thread regarding information to support/refute Congressman Paul's claim of one trillion dollars in foreign expenditures has been fairly successful, so I thought I'd turn to another contention many people have regarding Congressman Paul's record. This one pertains a bit more to his Congressional run, though Tim Russert did bring up the issue on Meet The Press -- Congressman Paul seemed a bit uncomfortable in his response, if you recall.

The assertion is that Congressman Paul claims to be against big government and wasteful spending, but is -- as the Peden pundits are alleging in the 14th -- renowned for having one of the most extensive 'pork spending' request records in Texas. Congressman Paul's response on Meet The Press (after laughing uncharacteristically) was simply that he never voted for any of the legislation, in spite of seeking earmarks that would benefit his constituents. From his perspective, he was thus fulfilling two jobs: 1) representing the wishes of his constituency; 2) remaining steadfast in his support of the Constitution and small government. If I recall correctly he also noted that he was simply trying to win back some of the taxpayers' money.

What's your perspective on this? I'd especially like to see thoughtful expansions of his apparent stance (from Meet The Press) or any further defense of his lobbied-for earmarks.