Local Sunlight


This week I have highlights from Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, and am introducing Earmark Corner.


Georgia’s Tondee’s Tavern, went to a Senate Town Hall meeting and taped the answers. This is a great example of how bloggers are ensuring that local events are covered.

Missouri’s Turner Report, highlights state Senator Kevin Engler (Farmington) bill that would ban public officials from accepting meals, beverages, tickets to sporting events, and other forms of entertainment from lobbyists. This is a big lobbying reform bill, and Local Sunlight will be keeping tabs on its progress.

Right Michigan has an interview with State Representative Brian Cally (Portland). Blogger Nick asks him a few questions, including:

Anything else you’d like to discuss or address with the bloggers at Right Michigan

Open government is good government. Perhaps the biggest weakness in state government today is that much of the decision making process is not open to public scrutiny. Take the budget debate for example. Many of the details on line item spending are kept secret, even from the legislature who is charged with approval of the budgets. I’ll bet the budget would be balanced without tax increases if every single line item of state government spending was published on www.michigan.gov.

Kudos to Rep. Cally for being open to the bloggers and good government.

Maryland’s Annapolis Politics talks about County Executive John R. Leopold. Apparently, Mr. Leopold supported a bill to allow a developer to build a golf course. This developer just happened to hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Leopold and raised tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign four days before Mr. Leopold publicly said he supported the golf course. It makes appreciate MAPLight.org a whole lot more.

Bloggers love/hate earmarks. My travels through the blogosphere have led me to find a lot of attention given to earmarks. So in order to keep Local Sunlight by being swallowed by earmark highlights I am introducing Earmark Corner. Gather the kids around the fire and lets see some earmarking from Kentucky, North Carolina, and New Mexico.

Kentucky’s The Rural Democrat, highlights Rep. Hal Rogers $90 million in federal funds for a proposed highway. This and the drip pans Rep. Rogers is having a pork attack.

Over in North Carolina at BlueNC Drama Queen wrote about how Rep. Patrick McHenry who hates earmarks but didn’t think it was hypocritical to ask for 3.5 million in them.

New Mexico FBIHOP’s LP highlights Sen. Pete Domenici’s 25 billions “gift” to nuclear power companies in the omnibus energy bill.

That’s all I have for this week. Thanks local bloggers. Keep the Sunlight shining!