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Tag Archive: Transparency Corps

House Disbursements Now Online

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As we mentioned earlier, the House of Representatives' Statement of Disbursements for Q3 of 2009 is now online, in PDF form. This was expected, as Speaker Pelosi had announced in June that this would happen later in the year.

This data is in the form of a single 3000-page PDF, or 3 broken-out 1000-page PDFs. They are scanned and OCRed copies of the original 3-volume book set that the Government Printing Office produces each year. For now, we're mirroring the original PDFs here, in case the House site goes down.

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Take 5 Minutes to Help the Fifty State Project

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Early this year we began our Fifty State Project, a project to scrape and organize data from all fifty state legislative websites. We have also started to run into cases where despite the best efforts of the developers on the project we can't get the full range of information we need to make this legislative data useful.

We have just posted a new TransparencyCorps task to help digitize this information, starting with the results from the Kentucky Legislature.

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More TransparencyCorps

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First of all, there's a new TransparencyCorps campaign up today: How Many Votes? We're trying get a database of the win percentages and vote totals for sitting members of Congress, for their last election. We'll be publishing the results in SQLite and CSV form, as usual, and we'll be integrating it into at least Congrelate, and a mysterious upcoming project.

In other awesome news, ThisWeKnow has taken the earmark data that we obtained through TransparencyCorps, and integrated it into their listings of data for cities. For example, check out the earmark requests for Pittsburgh.

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TransparencyCorps Meets New York

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After the success of our earmark campaigns, I've been working with the enthusiastic folks at OpenGovernmentNYC to help them launch a campaign of their own. Recently, they obtained from the NYC government a 169-page paper copy of the 1993 NYC Data Directory, bulk scanned it into a big PDF, and asked for help in digitizing it.

Visit the campaign and read Philip Ashlock's blog post to read a little more about why OpenGovNYC wants your help:

Update the NYC Public Data Directory

And if you're around NYC, consider going to one of their meetups - these guys are for serious.

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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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Digital Democracy Contest

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Today we launch the Digital Democracy Contest -- a free web-based game for high school social studies classes. Students compete in teams to investigate Congress using OpenSecrets.org and OpenCongress.org.

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CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

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