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Tag Archive: Open Government

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act Becomes Law

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I was lucky enough to be invited to the bill signing ceremony for S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, at the Old Executive Office Building this morning. President Bush's remarks are here; Glenn Reynolds has a post here; and Mark Tapscott previewed the event this morning. It was nice to meet the two of them in the flesh, as well as a fair number of the folks who are part of the Exposing Earmarks coalition.

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Growing Constituency for Good Government

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Earlier in the week, my colleague Paul Blumenthal expressed justifiable dismay over a report in The Washington Post arguing that the ethical problems of Congress--which can be viewed both as failings of individuals and as the product of an institutional inability to come to grips with shady behavior--was having little resonance as an issue in the minds of voters. Paul offered plenty of examples in his post to counter that argument, and more here on the bipartisan, citizen-driven effort to make the doings of elected government officials more accountable to their bosses (that's us citizens, by the way).

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What Good is Transparency When it Becomes a Form of Blindness?

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Brent Cunningham of the Columbia Journalism Review poses this rhetorical question at the end of a post on transparency in journalism. What he is referring to is the push by many bloggers for journalists and their publishers to provide information regarding the author’s political background, affiliations, and biases toward the story. “A reporter covering a proposed smoking ban, for example, should tell readers whether she smokes,” Cunningham writes, “The assumption being that if she smokes, we can infer that her sympathies lie with opponents of the ban, and vice versa.” Cunningham, before posing his final question, concludes by stating, “To assume that we can know what someone thinks by identifying their personal traits, habits, and predilections is a dangerous notion, and really has nothing to do with clarity.” So, can transparency in the political sphere become “a form of blindness”?

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