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SUNLIGHT UPS THE ANTE ON MAKING CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULES PUBLIC

Organizations now eligible to receive $4000 if they get a Member to put their schedule online

November 14, 2006

Contact: Gabriela Schneider 202-742-1520 ext 236

WASHINGTON, DC – The Sunlight Network is today announcing that if a non-profit organization gets a Member of Congress to sign an agreement to put their Congressional schedule on the internet, it will receive a $4,000 “good will bounty” from the group, as part of Sunlight’s ongoing Punch Clock Campaign.

Previously, Sunlight offered a good will bounty to any individual who got a Member of Congress or a midterm challenger to sign the agreement -- $1,000 for the signature obtained by each Member of Congress’ signature, and $250 for all other FEC qualified candidates. The individual who gains a signature on behalf of a group will still receive $1,000.

Incoming House Member Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) signed the Punch Clock Agreement to make her Congressional schedule accessible to the public via her official Congressional website.

“With exit polling from the election showing corruption was the single most ‘extremely important’ issue with most voters, it is critical that we begin to repair the relationship between Congress member and constituent,” said Zephyr Teachout, national director of the Sunlight Network. “It’s time for every person and group to join the effort to get Members to make their schedules public. Letting constituents know what they do all day is a good first step in building trust.”

The Punch Clock Agreement reads: I believe citizens have a right to know what their Member of Congress does every day. Starting with the next Congress, I promise to publish my daily official work schedule on the Internet, within 24 hours of the end of every work day. I will include all matters relating to my role as a Member of Congress. I will include all meetings with constituents, other Members, and lobbyists, listed by name. (In rare cases I will withhold the names of constituents whose privacy must be protected.) I will also include all fundraising events. Events will be listed whether Congress is in session or not, and whether I am in Washington, traveling, or in my district.
All those who are interested in joining the Sunlight Network’s efforts should visit www.punchclockcampaign.org and download a copy of the agreement to present to those running for Congress in their districts.

The Sunlight Network, a 501 c(4), was founded in 2006 to foster a more positive relationship between lawmakers and their constituents, using technology, transparency, and local communities.

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