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 Texas, Michigan, and Maine.
Texas Watchdog reports on a loophole in Texas personal financial disclosure filings. Spouses of elected officials do not have to be included in disclosure filings. Considering that spouses could have considerable wealth and influence, this loophole should be eliminated. Spouses could have investments that are affected by policy and potential conflicts of interest should be made public.
In Michigan, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood highlights an OpenSecrets.org article on donations made to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by the insurance industry. Rep. Mike Rogers is on the committee and is the fourth highest beneficiary of donations . The post notes that even though Rep. Rogers was elected in 2000 he is prominently placed on the insurance industry’s radar.
In Maine, Union Maine posts about Congresswoman Pingee answers some questions they sent to the Maine congressional delegation. The blog asked her office a few questions about their health care: “What does it cost? How much do they pay? How much do we pay for them? .” Rep. Pingee is the only office in Maine that responded to Union Maine’s questions. The post goes into more information about congressional health care coverage. It is a great example of how members of Congress can gain points by answering constituent questions. It really is that easy.