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Tag Archive: USA Today

Illinois is now an OpenBook

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(Hat tip to State Agency Database Highlights

Illinois has a new database for state contracts and campaign contributions.  OpenBook is a great new site where you can search by contract holder or contributor.  When you search for either the results will show you two columns. The first shows if the company or person has any state contracts and the second is what campaign contributions they have made.  This site allows people to see if a relationship could exist between contracts and campaign contributions.  It is simple to use and the easy to understand, which is pretty impressive for a government database.  Kudos Illinois!

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Sunlight Still Needed

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We think the USA Today editorialists have got it right: the new ethics laws haven't meant the end to the perks or ways for lobbyists to curry favor with lawmakers. We never really expected it to (I mean, we weren't exactly born yesterday...). You can't legislate good behavior. And that's why Sunlight's work urging full transparency for the work of Congress and its members is so hugely important.

Today's edition also includes an opposing view op-ed from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid where he attempts to make the case that he and his fellow Democrats have delivered on their promise to end the status quo environment of corruption in Congress. Watchdog journalists have shown how lawmakers and lobbyists have conspired to get around travel restrictions and gift bans. Plus, when the Senate passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, the practice of earmark abuse was preserved by a slight of hand by Sen. Reid and his fellow senators, putting anonymity back in the process.

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