Transparency We Can All Believe In

    The Senate is poised to pass its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act today, setting the stage for a conference to reconcile its differences with the House. Throughout the debate over the economic stimulus bill, there has been plenty of talk about transparency but little done to achieve it. There is, however, another opportunity. The Sunlight Foundation is spearheading an effort to convince | Read More »

    Bob Bacon Tries to Make Transparency Disappear

    Colorado Republican Senator Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch introduced a bill during the current Senate session that would require schools in the State to put their checkbooks online. Budget and spending transparency has been a hot issue for the past couple of years, and after it came to light that the Jeffco School District spent money on Carnival cruise tickets, constituents are demanding it. State Senator | Read More »

    Geez, the new site is just plain *bad*.

    It was Mary Katherine Ham’s article that tipped me to the problem: Barack Obama’s administration may be promising the “greatest ethical standard ever administered to an executive branch,” and increased transparency over his predecessor, but it seems to be forgoing at least one transparency practice that was routine in the Bush White House— transcripts of the daily press briefing. It’s been four days since Press | Read More »

    Labor Department makes rules to expose union corruption

    From Paul Pringle at the LA Times: The U.S. Labor Department, in the final hours of the Bush administration, has toughened standards to require most unions to publicly report nearly all compensation and expenses for officers and employees, the agency announced Friday. Also broadened were disclosure requirements for the sale and purchase of property, with the aim of revealing whether any union officers or employees | Read More »

    Transparency Costs

    There are rumors afoot that some in the state bureaucracy are coming out against enhanced budget transparency, and specifically,  SB 936. Why? Because it might cost them money to implement. Putting aside the rather shaky notion that open government should be avoided because it might nick someone’s budget, what might transparency really cost? Here are some figures: * The federal government’s budget transparency site,, | Read More »

    Tracking Transparency in the Virginia Senate

    Chap Petersen and Ken Cuccinelli’s expanded transparency bill —  SB 936 has been referred to the Senate’s  General Laws and Technology committee. As this bill could come up for consideration early Wednesday, we urge everyone — TMG members and all those who are interested in shining sunlight into the nooks and crannies of the state’s budget — to contact the committee’s members in support of | Read More »

    Democrats Get Greedy on Stimulus

    One of the first acts of the 111th Congress will be an all-Democrat hearing stacked with five sympathetic witnesses who favor some version of a massive economic stimulus package. Republicans aren’t invited and no conservative viewpoints will be presented. Is this the openness and honesty that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised when she was elected? To hear Pelosi tell it, there’s no reason to delay | Read More »

    ‘Tis A Puzzlement

    You know, I really don’t have any problems whatsoever with this line of inquiry: Barack Obama’s transition has set a high standard for transparency, putting the details of its contributors online sooner than required, and even demanding that former President Bill Clinton reveal the 200,000-plus donors to his personal foundation.But the transition’s commitment to publicizing the names of donors has an exception: The transition is | Read More »

    On Transparency

    I am in utter shock when it comes to how well Obama is doing. I have said on RedState before, that I get the young voters. They are naive and are likely in college or right out of, and have thoughts of sugar plum fairies still dancing in their heads in the form of naivity and/or ideology. So, I give a bit of a pass | Read More »

    RNC Unveils new searchable database.

    It’s still pretty simple, but it’s also pretty straightforward. From the press release: The Republican National Committee (RNC) today launched a new Web site, “” Through a searchable database, un-itemized RNC donors – those who contributed less than $200 to the RNC from the time Sen. John McCain became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – will be made public. “Sen. Obama talks a lot about | Read More »

    ACTION: Tell Congress to Read the Bill Before Voting On It!

    Can you read and comprehend a 451 page bill in under 24 hours? No.Well, then you probably wouldn’t want to be a member of Congress right now. The Senate just released their 451-page version of the Wall Street bailout bill and expect members to vote tonight. If our elected representatives are going to be tossing hundreds of billions of dollars around, the least they can | Read More »

    Show Us the Legislation

    (Crossposted from the Sunlight Foundation) As news spreads that a consensus Wall Street bailout plan is being finalized, and leaders negotiate between proposals submitted from the Treasury Department, Senator Dodd, Representative Markey, and others, two separate conversations are taking place. One is public, as the nation struggles to evaluate the urgency of the economic consensus Wall Street bailoutsituation, and to understand the best course of | Read More »

    Does Obama get scrutiny or not?

    Compare these two. Speaking to a group of African-American journalists, he says: What I would ask is that I am treated like other candidates in terms of expectations and that people look at my entire record. But his staff is “terrified” of people looking into his history: Reporters who have covered Obama’s biography or his problems with certain voter blocs have been challenged the most | Read More »

    Democrats don’t believe in ethics reform

    How did this not get more attention? With reporting deadlines looming, congressional officers have issued revised guidelines that ease some of the lobbying disclosure requirements enacted last year. The revised guidance, issued by the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate, relaxed the rules for disclosure of lobbyist contributions to parties at this summer’s Democratic and Republican national conventions, among other changes. So, | Read More »

    The pushback against Democrats’ attempts to limit online communication continues

    Thank you to the hundreds of you who took time out of your day yesterday to sign my petition, to join my Facebook group, and/or to call Speaker Pelosi’s office about Democratic attempts to limit online communication between the American people and their elected representatives. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. You can also put a petition | Read More »

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