Look at what you can find out, when a lawmaker publishes his schedule.
Here’s another double-edged benefit of the internet: this year, thanks to YouTube and other sites that let users post and share videos, the whole world can see the sort of sleaze that passes for political advertising as Election Day draws near.
In fact, the one-two-three punch of Google, YouTube and a broadband connection means that anyone can do in a few seconds what I did yesterday – learn about offensive ads in a newspaper story, then take a look at them yourself.
The folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation are releasing tips and guidelines on how to use FOIA, recognizing that so much good investigative reporting is happening live on the web. (Is it really happening anywhere else?)
There an FAQ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that outlines how to use open government laws to get access to records kept by federal agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Election season is offering all kinds of ways of citizens to put on their reporting hats and take to the streets. One of the neatest ideas I've run across is VideoTheVote which is asking us to record what is happening at the polls on election day. They will post the videos online and spread the word through the blogosphere.
As we say, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants..."
I don’t know what percentage of the ballots filed every election in the state of Oregon have food stains on them, but I’ll bet it’s higher than the national average.
I say that, having splashed a little spaghetti sauce on my ballot at lunchtime yesterday, as I sat filling it out on the kitchen table. I did the same thing the last time I voted, though that time, as I recall, it was gravy.
Chalk it up as an occupational hazard of voting by mail - which is what all of us do here in Oregon every time there’s an election.
My ballot arrived Monday, about a week after the official voter guides. At lunchtime yesterday, I laid out everything on the dining room table and worked my way through the propositions and the candidates one by one, marking my choices on the ballot as I went. In all, I guess it took about 30 or 40 minutes to read everything and fill it all out. Today I’ll drop it off at the post office and be done with it for another two years.
We've already got two separate items linked on the reported investigations of Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz. One concerns his involvement in a land swap deal that made a $3 million profit for James Sandlin, a a real estate investor who'd bought half of a business owned by Renzi for $200,000 in 2001 (Sandlin would later buy the rest for somewhere between $1,000,001 and $5 million). The second story notes an inquiry into Renzi's influence on behalf of a government contractor, Mantech International, of which his father is an executive vice president.
John Podhoretz draws a distinction, in his New York Post column, between those who get their information from the awkwardly-named "Mainstream Media" (I prefer traditional media) and those who follow (or follow, in addition to newspaper and television) political blogs and Web sites, and hypothesizes that the latter are getting a much different election picture than the former. Those on "Blog Time," Podhoretz argues, are more attuned to subtle or even significant shifts of voter zeitgeist: Rep. Harold Ford had a bad week; Republicans have put the worst of the ongoing Foley mess behind them; this district's latest poll looks good for the incumbent, and so on so forth. Those on "Mainstream Media Time," by contrast, are getting fed a steady diet of one way stories suggesting that Republicans are in trouble, according to Podhoretz.
If this keeps up much longer, our friends at OMB Watch are going to have their hand full maintaining the grants side of FedSpending.org. Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute finds that the number subsidy programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance has skyrocketed--from 1,013 programs in 1985 to 1,390 in 1995 to 1,696 in 2006.
Our Advisory Board member, Craig Newmark just told me that BBC Radio is looking for five citizen journalists to help tell the election night story from around the country. Here's an incredible opportunity!
BBC Radio Five Live's late night international news programme Up All Night would like your help telling the story of the US midterm elections. We'll be visiting Connecticut and Pennsylvania and on election night Washington DC - but we can't be everywhere and there many other fascinating races we'd like to cover. So we'd like your help in reporting the election.
After readings Bill's post about this convetional wisdom-bucking Barron's article predicting that the Republicans will hold onto to both Houses I decided to take a look at the same numbers that they were looking at. First let's look at the campaign finance information since that's how they decided to pick the winner of each individual race. Instead of looking at the numbers of every race I decided to use the National Journal's recently released House Race Rankings. I've discounted Democratic seats that they list because we're talking about the Republican Party holding off a Democratic challenge and so I looked the defensive position of the majority party. This is based data released by the FEC on October 20, 2006 and compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.