This is not an argument of "they do it too" or "they started it". Rather, it's a suggestion that it's difficult to out right condemn something with little actual historical context OR without a full grasp of the situation it functions within. From my time working with government budgets I could easily see a situation in play where the offices may've been forced with one of two generalized options:
1) Budget enough for the 4th quarter that if they win re-election they can undergo whatever initatives or efforts they would normally have planned.
2) Budget enough for the 4th quarter so that if they lose re-election the money left over in the budget will be on par with a normal year.
In situation 1, if the person loses re-election rather than wins, then they wind up with excess money in the budget which is what goes to bonuses at the end of the year.
In situation 2, if the person wins re-election rather than loses it, then they wind up with a dearth of funds for the 4th quarter and thus are not operating in the manner they would normally shoot for.
Now, is that the situation? I have no clue. However based on what little facts the article provides about how this process is done AND with my understanding of government budget princpiles, I wouldn't be shocked if that turns out to be the case. In which case, this is an issue of the system in which the representatives are functionin in is a broken one with a built in inefficiency. You can fight to change a system, but until it's changed the only thing one can really do is function WITHIN the system.
This is the same general fallacy that so many people foolishly make with regards to the tea party and it's founded on an unabashed desire to attack and destroy while relying wholey on stereotyped boogeymen rather than attempting to be objective.