Local Sunlight


This week I have highlights from Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Jersey and New York.

In Oregon, Open Government News and Issues, spends some time talking about using Legistorm’s database containing information on privately funded congressional travel. Oregon’s own Senator Smith, and his staff have taken trips totaling $190,000 or more. Rep. Blumenauer has 70 approved trips for a total $156,000.

Pennsylvania’s KeyStone Politics blog highlights a tentative $400 million contract granted to Unisys for managing the state’s data center. Gov. Rendell’s approval of this contract caused a stir in the state house when lawmakers asking why competitive bidding wasn’t considered.

South Carolina Politics Today highlights a new state spending database. The new website allows people to find itemized agency spending by month, as well as year-to-date agency spending by several categories. State expenses are broken-down by whether General Fund, an earmark or federal money was the source of the funding. This data can also downloaded by anyone. Good Job South Carolina!

In New York an interesting conversation is happening between three New York bloggers (Rochester Turning, Fighting 29th, and the Ontario Republican) and the local television station 13WHAM’s blogger about whether bloggers are journalists and traditional media. Read this ongoing conversation about the changing nature of news and media.

Earmark Corner:

Pennsyltucky Politics blog talks about Rep. Todd Platts pledge to not request earmarks. Rep. Platts has claimed earmarks have been used to do some good things for the district but the process of getting them needs to be reformed so he won’t be requesting any in the upcoming appropriation bills.

In South Caronlina, Palmetto State Progressive, reports that Sen. DeMint has supported $30 million in defense department earmarks despite his well known opposition to them.

In New Jersey, Blog the Fifth, has a series of posts on identifying who the recipents are of the $2.5 million in earmarks that Rep. Garrett sponsored. Some digging revealed that $1.5 million, that is for 2kw Military Tactical Generator Improvements, went to Dewey Electronics. The other million, was for Lightweight Munitions and Surveillance System (LMSS) for Unmanned Air & Ground Vehicles, went to Imperial Machine & Tool, Inc. Good sleuthing Blog the Fifth!