In late September and early October of 2008,
after a financial crisis in the home lending industry the United States
Senate met and passed HR 1424, the 2008 Economic Stabilization Bill to
bail out the industry at a cost of $700,000,000,000. When news
of the bill was released it was found to have several controversial
Earmarks include an
economic development credit for American Samoa, tax exemptions for
makers of wooden bows and arrows for children, funding for wool research,
and amendments to the Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to the
tax deduction for domestic film and television productions. These
were written into the bill before it was presented to the house in March
On October 3, 2008 the
San Francisco Chronicle reported. "While crafting a bill intended
to rescue the U.S. economy this week, lawmakers couldn't stop themselves
from adding billions of dollars in tax breaks that have little to do
with restoring confidence in financial markets."
An eRumor questioning
the relationship between the American Samoa earmark and Speaker of the
house, Nancy Pelosi, gained momentum the week of October 20, 2008 over
past criticism of a minimum wage hike in 2007 that omitted American
On January 12, 2007
the Washington Times wrote an article about Pelosi and the
minimum wage law saying," House Republicans yesterday declared
'something fishy' about the major tuna company in House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi's San Francisco district being exempted from the minimum-wage
increase that Democrats approved this week."
The 2007 bill raised
the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour and extended for the first
time the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands but exempted
American Samoa. Starkist, a division of Del Monte Foods, has
facilities in American Samoa with an employee base of about 5,000,
roughly 75% of the work force on that island. The company is headquartered in
Nancy Pelosi's district was and was very much against the raise in wages.
A spokesperson for the Speaker of the House said that neither StarKist
nor Del Monte had lobbied Pelosi in any way.
Facts about Pelosi's
husbands Starkist/Del Monte stock investments have not been listed in
her earnings disclosure.
According to the
Center for Responsive Politics,
neither Starkist nor Del Monte were found on the contributor list for
Pelosi in donations amounting $10,000 or more.
The Bill was passed in
the House Mar 5, 2008, passed by the Senate Oct 1, 2008 and signed by
President Oct 3, 2008.
here to see the 2008 Economic Stabilization Bill HR 1424
for SF Chronicle article