Local Sunlight


This week I have highlights from New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Maryland, Delaware, Hawaii, Alabama, and Iowa.


In New York, the Fighting 29th, gives us an update on last week’s story about Rep. Kuhl’s trip to Brazil. The story produced by WHAM-13 notes that after the original story Rep. Kuhl’s office sent the news station a list of the expenses except for how much the air travel was. Apparently the government does not disclose how much military travel costs. After Rep. Kuhl’s office sent them an itinerary with flight hours they figured the airfare cost $28,000. I wonder why they wouldn’t disclose that?

Keystone Politics in Pennsylvania highlights the open records legislation that has been approved unanimously by the state house and is being sent to the governor to sign. This right to know law makes all government records public unless the document’s custodian can prove that they are classified.

Lowell at BadLand Blues highlights an interview with the governor about a bill regarding open government. The governor feels that open disclosure could violate privacy rights of citizens. The interview also gives the sponsor of the bill a chance to respond to the Governor’s accusations.

The Howard County Maryland Blog highlights the Maryland Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2008. This bill is being sponsored by Howard County delegates and will allow citizens to see how the state of Maryland spends tax money.

DelawarePolitics.net talks about the nepotism in Delaware. He would like to know how many family members of elected officials are being employeed by Delaware. Fair question maybe its time for people to investigate these links like we did in Congress is a family business.

ILind.net of Hawaii talks about his involvement the Sunshine Blogger Project. The goal of the project is to find out whether America‘s governors archive the e-mail correspondences that go into and out of their offices. More importantly can they provide copies of those e-mails when members of the public request them. ILind request covered all governmental emails sent or received by the governor’s office during the four day period of February 1-4, 2008. Hopefully the bloggers participating in this project can get some positive disclosure.

In Alabama, Doc’s Political Parlor, talks about the new state senate bill that will ban PAC to PAC contributions. It does not, however, ban PACs from giving to political parties which could create a loophole. The loophole is being actively discussed and will be PACs contributing to parties, who will then, contribute to another PAC. Two steps forward one step back.

In Iowa Cyclone Conservatives points people to the Facebook and MySpace pages of Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham and Sen. Chuck Grassly. It’s great to see elected officials taking advantage of a new medium to connect with constituents.