Well, Tom Harkin will be happy to show you how.
Despite direct appeals from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other top Democrats, Harkin has refused to transfer money from his $2.4 million campaign account to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to sources and campaign finance records.
Instead, the retiring Iowa senator has informed party leaders that he plans to use the campaign funds for a charitable contribution to an entity that bears his name: The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University in Des Moines, according to sources close to discussions with the senator.
…That may be the funniest thing that I read all day. No, wait, this is:
The veteran Democrat has also complained in front of other senators about the ban on congressional earmarks, which has prevented him — a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee — from steering money to Drake University, said Democratic sources.
Oh, God, that makes it all worthwhile. That makes all the grief over earmarks worthwhile, right there. Harkin can’t funnel taxpayer money to a client, so he has to use his ‘own*.’ THE HORROR.
Harkin aides push back hard, saying he’s done a lot for Braley, despite war chest going to his institute http://t.co/HDKZcyWkF6
— Maggie Haberman (@maggiepolitico) October 16, 2014
*Strictly speaking, it’s the money that Harkin’s supporters gave him for elections, but what the heck: their errors in judgement were already baked into this particular cake.