For members of Congress, the only thing better than getting "pork" for the folks back home is getting a slice of that pork for themselves.
Pork, also known as earmarks, describes the long-standing Congressional practice of steering tax money back to home districts to pay for expensive, constituent-pleasing projects.
But in recent years lawmakers started taking pork a step further. Instead of just using earmarks to keep voters happy, some members of Congress have found ways to benefit personally.
Some arranged for improvements to areas near property they owned; others sent money to organizations they would later go to work for after leaving office.
Of course, none of this is illegal.
Congress literally makes its own rules regarding the ethics of earmarks. Still, much of what goes on looks bad.
Take the case of former Rep. William Delahunt, D-MA. The seven-term Congressman retired last year and launched his own lobbying firm in Boston.
Before long the small coastal town of Hull had hired Delahunt for $15,000 a month to help out with a wind energy project.
Coincidentally, Delahunt had set aside a $1.7 million earmark for the Hull project back in 2009. The bulk of his fee - 80% - is being paid from the same earmark money.
And that's not all. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has paid Delahunt's firm at least $40,000 to lobby for a casino. As a congressman, Delahunt sent the tribe earmarks worth $400,000.
Delahunt also has done work for Quincy, MA, lobbying for a downtown redevelopment project. Back in 2008, he was sending Quincy $2.4 million in earmarks.
"I cannot recall such an obvious example of a member of Congress allocating money that went directly into his own pocket," Barney Keller, communications director for theconservative group Club for Growth, told The New York Times. "It speaks to why members of Congress shouldn't be using earmarks."
While Delahunt may be the most blatant example of a lawmaker enjoying generous helpings of Congressional pork, he's not the only one.