By Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) - 05/10/07 07:44 PM EDT
To be precise, the story references eight High Priority Projects (HPPs) in the last transportation reauthorization bill. Only one of these projects, for improvements to Pine Avenue, is even in my district, and I have never been shy about claiming credit for it because this project was the top priority for two cities in my district. The other seven projects your paper mentions are not in my district, nor are they anywhere near it.
While I was proud to represent the needs of Southern California during the transportation reauthorization process, I had nothing to do with helping other members secure HPPs for their districts as alleged in the article. I did not request these earmarks nor did I approach the chairman or any of his staff to urge for funding for these projects. Anyone familiar with the transportation reauthorization process understands that even if I saw value in a request for a HPP outside of my district, the decision to fund such a project lies solely with the member who represents the district and with the chairman or ranking member of the committee. Those who understand the process know that it would be absolutely impossible for me to influence funding for such HPPs outside of my district. All seven of these HPPs were secured by the members of Congress who represented the project areas, and each of these members issued press releases claiming credit for their hard work. Incredibly, four of the seven earmarks you wrongly attribute to me were actually secured by a Democratic member of Congress. More than just outside my district and outside my purview, they were also outside my party.
Simply put, with only one exception, the projects you mention in your story to support your claim were outside of my control. The facts surrounding these earmarks, and the transportation reauthorization process itself, were either misunderstood or willfully ignored in your story. A mere phone call to the then-chairman or ranking member of the committee, or any of the members whose earmarks were inaccurately attributed to me, would have confirmed these facts. In addition to these inaccuracies, your paper perpetuates an unsubstantiated rumor, with no evidence to support the allegation, that I am being investigated by the FBI. As far as I know, there is no FBI investigation into the matter. I have not been contacted by the FBI, nor has any other credible individual come forward to say they have been contacted.
Yet again, your reporter, Ms. Crabtree, was set on smearing my reputation through innuendo and outright untruths. I stopped commenting for her stories a number of articles ago because her attachment to sensationalism and scandal is so clearly stronger than her attachment to the truth. This is just one recent example of your paper’s wildly inaccurate stories about me. Enough is enough. I have never used my office for anything other than faithfully representing my constituents. The facts, if you cared enough to check them, clearly show this.
Editor’s note: The Hill stands by the article.