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Tag Archive: data

So Many Earmarks

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When we launched TransparencyCorps at the end of June, we ran a few small earmark campaigns, to digitize little batches of earmark request letters that legislators had posted on their websites. These campaigns wrapped up very quickly, and at the same time, the House decided to release earmark request letters en masse, and we didn't have to do our campaigns per-legislator anymore.

Given the demonstrated interest in earmarks, we decided to run a much larger campaign, for all the earmarks released by the House Appropriations Committee, starting with those for the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee. These were released in a single massive PDF, which I split up into individual 1- or 2-page request letters.

This campaign involved 1,183 letters, and we had the campaign run for 5,537 completed tasks. Total volunteer time, as measured on TransparencyCorps: over 472 hours. That's nearly 20 man-days. Here are the results.

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Is Government a Data Wholesaler or Retailer?

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Imagine if Costco announced that they were going to take the Costco experience to Manhattan, and open up convenience stores across the the island. Further, imagine shopping at these new CostCo bodegas, all of 500 square feet, with your giant cart, selecting from what the CostCo bodega has to offer in this limited amount of space! At your local CostCo bodega you have to choose from either 400 rolls of toilet paper, 70 lbs of dehydrated mashed potatoes, or a 6 pack of giant boxes of cereal. That's pretty much all they could store in inventory at the CostCo bodega because they wouldn't have room in 500 square feet for anything else. And good luck carrying all that home!

Sounds absurd, doesn't it?

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CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

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