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
Don't look now, but someone in Washington has apparently decided that it's not fair for Sen. Ted Stevens and Sen. Robert Byrd to hog all pork-hiding, dislcosure-obstructing glory. Rebecca Carr reports that, no sooner were Stevens and Byrd outed for blocking the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. Barack Obama, a new anonymous Senator has placed a hold on the bill.Continue reading
Lots of activity in Congress about issues that Sunlight cares about.
First, the bill sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn and Senator Barack Obama that would create an online searchable database for government grants and contracts is scheduled for mark-up today. According to CQ Reports, Sen. Tom Coburn said that the bottom line is: "Why shouldn't Americans know where their money is being spent?"
We couldn't agree more. We're particularly excited about this bipartisan legislative initiative because we have had a sneak preview at the grants and contracts database that OMB Watch is preparing to release in the early fall. It's a wow -- an information powerhouse. (Yes, I feel badly about mentioning it here and not giving you a link to it, but I guess it's OK to tease our readers once in a while.) When I saw it, I thought of a hundred ways to find out more about who's getting how much money from government, and for what projects, than I ever thought was possible. OMB Watch's team has done an amazing job in putting it together. They are looking for some citizen beta-testers, so if you're interested let me know and I will pass your name along to them. This database will be live in six weeks or so.Continue reading