Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy (our partners on Congresspedia) joined forces to launch Full Frontal Scrutiny, a blog-driven, wiki-based site dedicated to exposing fake, corporate-funded front groups that are pushing agendas, while hiding their true identity or agenda. Full Frontal Scrutiny will give consumers, voters and citizens a resource for investigating organizations they run across in the media or elsewhere that have popped up to promote a particular opinion or bill in Congress. We love the banner on the site that include this quote from Jonathan Adelstein, commissioner at the FCC: "The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them." The organizers say it's this spirit that is their motivation for exposing "hidden persuaders." This is a new battle being waged in the spirit of transparency.Continue reading
Just before I left town for a two-week break, Sunlight announced its first round of grants for 2007, totaling just over $200,000. On my return, I realized that we hadn't posted anything about them -- other than a press release -- and so our readers might have missed the news. We are staying the course in terms of the kind of investments were are making with the money going to organizations that are using new "Web 2.0" technology to further the organization's mission of putting information into citizens' hands to increase transparency in Congress. We believe that our grantees are on the cutting edge of work that will open up our legislative branch.Continue reading
I thought it might be useful to take stock of how much attention the new databases released by Center for Responsive Politics (Congressional Personal Financial Disclosure and Travel) and OMB Watch (Government Grants and Contracts) attracted last week.
From Massie Ritsch at CRP:
In the first six days that the new personal finances and travel databases were online OpenSecrets.org logged nearly 140,000 unique visitors (though some may have visited over multiple days). OS logged more than 1.6 million page views and more than 7 million hits in that time.Continue reading