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  Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana, Arizona, and Minnesota

In Missouri, The Turner Report has a post about an earmark the Center for Public Integrity reported on obtained by Rep.  Roy Blunt.  Blunt got a 4 million earmark for EaglePicher a client of his former chief of staff Gregg Hartley. Clearly there is some revolving door can’t be stopped.

In Maryland, Brian Griffiths has a post about the earmarks Sen. Mikulski has been getting for her top campaign contributors. She has gotten $42.1 million total for three companies Northrop Grumman, Thales Communications, and L-3 Communications who also have been giving her a generous campaign contributions over the years.

In Louisiana, We Could Be Famous has a post about Louisiana’s Ethics Review Board trying to dodge a disclosure requirement. Government organizations who spend more than $10,000 a year have to file financial disclosure forms. However, the Ethics Review Board requested an exemption to disclosing and was granted the request. If the ethics board gets a pass I wonder what other agencies get one too?

AZ Central has a post about the city of Surprise, Arizona’s  proposals to build public trust had a few financial mishaps recently and so the city decided to clean up its image. They want to hire an outside auditor to review the books; they will be creating a searchable Web site of city spending. The interesting part of the spending Web site will be that they will update the site when the checks are written not later.  I look forward to seeing the site.

Bluestem Prairie goes looking for stimulus spending. There has been a good deal of research into what the problems of tracking the money given to states has been. There is apparently no one state or federal agency that maintains a comprehensive public list of projects and no one central clearing house for everything. Recovery spending and its affects are hard to determine.  This makes judging Recovery’s affectiveness impossible.