Local Sunlight


This week I have highlights from Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Washington.

In Idaho, IdaBlue, has a new blog roll category, “legiblogs”, this lists all the state legislators that have blogs (or blogislators). There are four blogs currently listed and they all seemed to be updated regularly. It’s great to see elected officials considering blogging as a way to communicate with their constituents.

In Louisiana, Blagueur, highlights a Washington Post article talking about Rep. Richard H. Baker who is in talks to become president of a hedge fund lobby. Also in Louisiana, In the Loop highlights the historic state house organizational session. This included a day long briefing on Louisiana’s Code of Governmental Ethics. This was meant to lead the State Reps through the ethics code and educated them about the requirements for financial disclosure and lobbyist regulation. This was a great opportunity to learn Louisiana’s Ethics Code before the special sessions in February on ethics reform.

In Missouri, the Turner Report, talks about how State Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst introduced bill HB 1548, which, he admitted was written by a lobbyist. This bill would exempt sales tax on purchases of “equipment, machinery, materials, supplies, fixtures, and shoes used in the sport of bowling.” A little more research shows that this bill was previously submitted last year by Rep. Ron Richard, the House Speaker-elect, who happens to own a chain of bowling alleys. How convenient.

In Nebraska, Smith Watch, has a very interesting summary of Rep. Adrian Smith’s first year in Congress. Complete with voting summary and some analysis of who gave him money and how often he voted in their favor.

In New Mexico, LP at New Mexico FBIHOP, highlights the very cool The Santa Fe Reporter’s Muckraker’s Guide to New Mexico. The guide has links to campaign finance, earmark, crime, and various other information any good muckraker would want.

In Washington, Olympia Time, highlights how the state legislature now has RSS feeds for bills which will allow people to subscribe to bills and track changes.

Earmark Corner

The usual ruckus around earmarks has slowed to a disgruntled murmur with people mostly focusing on the election. I did want to highlight a great summary done by Smith Watch on Rep. Adrian’s Smith earmark requests and his opinion on the status of earmarking.