Stories to start the day

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1) Eight lawmakers use earmarks to fund charities that they have close personsal connections to.

2) The Right to Know law in India, which levies fines on bureaucrats who drag their feet in releasing information, is a boon to the country’s poor.

3) Sen. John Barrasso dangled his new chief of staff out for a fundraiser recently. It even left a bad taste in the mouths of some lobbyists, “It was uncomfortably close to the explicit staff access/money line.”

4) Appropriations Committees are in for a big change next year. The Senate Appropriations Committee is going to see, at least, a turnover of five Republicans and three Democrats.

5) White House aide Patrick Gaspard failed to disclose approximately $40,000 in a payout from his former employer Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

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