Introducing Operation Transbearency: Follow the Honey


If you follow Sunlight in any capacity, you may have noticed a seemingly innocuous typo slip into our writing of late, a little something called “transbearency.” Today, I am proud to announce that “transbearency” is no accident. It’s a movement.

Allow me to explain…as best I can. It started when the folks at Sunlight heard that the infamous faux-pundit Stephen Colbert decided to take his message of Politics As Usual to Washington, DC on October 30th. His mission? A march to Keep Fear Alive. Colbert claimed that such a march was a necessity:

There are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear [and] they want to replace our Fear with reason. But never forget — “Reason” is just one letter away from “Treason.” Coincidence? Reasonable people would say it is, but America can’t afford to take that chance.

Maybe we were being sensitive, but this call to action offended us. Reasonable solutions to unreasonable problems in government mark the foundation of the transparency movement. Reason is the…reason that Sunlight builds technology platforms and advocates for policies that make our elected representatives accountable to the folks who elected them.

Rather than feed into his fear-mongering, Sunlight decided it was time to stand up to Colbert by hitting him where it hurts: his fear of bears.

Stephen Colbert is terrified of bears and all their hairy complexity, and we want to send a powerful message his way. So, if you believe that there is nothing to fear about a more accountable government, then I ask you to join Operation Transbearency for the month of October. A few ways you can take part:

  • Be a bear online: Change your avatar(s) (like we did) to a bear to show your inner watchbeardog.
  • Spread the honey: When you see something delicious, like stories about open data, lobbying reform and campaign ethics, tell your friends and make sure to post about it with a tag for #transbearency (or #opengov) so that your fellow bears can find it.
  • Bear with us: Text BEAR to 224866 (“ACTION”) if you’re planning on attending the rally in Washington, DC on October 30th to get info on how to meet up with us (and directions to our post-rally happy hour).
  • Really brave? Show up to the rally dressed as a bear. Seriously. The Colbert/Stewart folks have already asked that ralliers come in costume — it will be Halloween, after all — we’re just asking that you choose a costume that will make a difference. I promise you, we’ll be out there in full bear regalia with special swag and surprises for anyone ferocious enough to stand in solidarity.
  • You may think this is silly, but bears are not silly. They are serious, and so are we. We hope you’ll join us on the 30th.