In announcing his 2014 congressional campaign, state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) noted his work in securing funds to start peer counseling groups for Suffolk veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
But when Zeldin opposed Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in 2008, he branded such earmarks a "thinly veiled assault on responsible government."
Zeldin says the PTSD program was funded in the state budget, and wasn't a true "earmark," where a politician puts money for a pet project into an unrelated bill in exchange for his vote.
"This was part of the state budget," Zeldin said. "Washington doesn't even seem to know what a budget is anymore." -- Paul LaRocco