Local Sunlight


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 Wisconsin, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia and Hawaii.

In Wisconsin, the Critical Badger, has an interesting post about the current state of journalism and the future of Web 2.0.   The post is interesting because it talks about the important role of trained journalists to the blogosphere and that they can’t be replaced.   Another problem is that the decrease in newspapers causes large parts of  public life to go unmonitored, which can make elected official less accountable in their actions.  The post also looks at the sustainability problems of political blogging.  Definitely read it, as well as all the great research the author sites.  How do we create a sustainable system that will compensate skilled journalists, as well as, the hard work bloggers put into keeping track of their communities and disseminating information.

In Illinois, Prairie State Blue points to a new county Web site that shows employees salaries and expressing support of the Clout Wiki started in Chicago that connects officials and the influence they have.  This is exactly why the work that LittleSis.org is doing is so important.  Creating comprehensive maps of influence can help paint better pictures of what is going on.

New West Boise has a post on how you can’t look at government officials emails with the state’s FOI laws.  The article goes on to say that there is very little in terms of email retention policies at the state level.  Given how email is used in this day and age it would be extremely valuable for states to start having email retention policies, as well as, making sure emails are available via Freedom of Information.

In Georgia, Peach Pundit has a post comparing Ethics Code and points out that there is little teeth is the code because it doesn’t require lawmakers to be removed from office if they violate it.  There needs to be clear consequences when lawmakers violate ethics rules.  This is one of the first steps to clearing up some of the corruption that happens.

ILind.net has a follow up to Lt. Governor Duke Aiona’s out of state fundraisers.  Apparently the video of the fundraiser was deleted from Youtube.  Was this a response to the criticism?