In a thorough article in today's Springfield News-Leader, political reporter Chad Livengood explores the earmark issue:
The first line-item appropriation from 2008 was $2 million for a storm shelter at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin that still hasn't been constructed. Nodler is widely credited for the storm shelter, which may eventually dual as an athletics locker room.
Nodler's fingerprints weren't directly on this line-item funding because former Gov. Matt Blunt added it to his original budget request.
But then Nodler admits that he asked Blunt's office to put the funding request into their 2009 fiscal year budget.
"The reality is, that line item was requested by the governor," Nodler said. "It's not something I created and inserted in the budget."
Perhaps the senator should reconsider Congress and take a shot at Dancing with the Stars.