Friday, December 14, 2007

Fight Back Against Earmarks

I have seen the future, and it is EXCELLENT!

Captain's Quarters deserves the credit for alerting me to this treasuretrove of information. It is fully searchable, and allows you to see which villains snakes-in-the-grass politicians have been picking your pocket.

Also, go read the story about how it all came about, as well as drop in at the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, who also played a part in making it happen. Feel free to show your gratitude by making a donation.

This may be the tool that finally allows ordinary citizens to grab back the reins of democracy. Before the next debate, fire the site up in your browser. When you hear a candidate make claims about his/her contributions to the electorate, search by state, and find out WHO made the contributions. Probably you.

1 comment:

Gabriela said...

Hi there,
I'm Sunlight's Communications Director. Thanks very much for the kind words! (BTW, our URL is sunlightfoundation.com, not .org.)

You might be interested in some more back story about the new database: Sunlight funded OMBWatch to build FedSpending.org (the first searchable database of all govt contracts and grants), for $325K.

They built it. Then the Obama-Coburn bill was passed (with help from a cross-partisan coalition of bloggers, who smoked out the Senator who had put a secret hold on the bill) mandating that the OMB build its own official database, for $15 million.

OMB Watch offered to help OMB get the job done...even though the watchdog group and the government agency are usually major adversaries.

After some hesitation, OMB's director decided to work with OMBWatch, and they licensed the software from OMBWatch for $600K. The new site, USASpending.gov, just launched, two weeks ahead of schedule.