Local Sunlight 6/1/09


Every week I climb into the depths of the local political blogosphere to find the Sunlight. I use this series to highlight local blogs that do a great job of covering local, state, and congressional political news.  This week I have highlights from Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, and Nevada.

In Illinois, Bill Baar’s West Side writes about a blogger call with State Rep. Julie Hamos regarding a petition she released to put a cap on campaign contributions.  Rep. Hamos answered questions about why legislation to restrict contributions is necessary and how much political support this reform has.

In Minnesota, Residual Forces posts about a new blog Hennepin County Taxpayer Watchdog which is run by the  County Board of Commissioners.  The blog was set up to inform taxpayers about how their money is being spent.  The latest post is about how the county installed solar panels onto one of its buildings and describes why this is a good expenditure and how it saved the taxpayers money.

In Montana, Intelligent Discontent has a post about requiring school districts to post their full budgets online.  An article in Education Week (registration required) points to how the current way of just releasing a summary can be misleading but releasing all the information allows people to judge for themselves.

In Nevada, Nor’Town has another post looking into campaign finance information.  I really like these posts, that go into who is giving money to who and what interests are being represented.  This is the type of work that needs to be done, as soon as possible, so voters can see what interests are trying to influence their elected officials.  Which is the exact reasion we have been trying to get S 482 passed, the bill would require the Senate to file their campaign finance reports electronically, so we can get the information faster.  Call your Senator today and ask them why they don’t support more transparency.