Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Important bill on federal spending

Posted by shannonclark on September 18, 2006

Take a look at this announcement –
http://obama.senate.gov/news/060909-bloggers_help_obama_pass_senate_pork_bill/index.html

And take a listen to Barak Obama’s podcast on the topic as well. He specifically cites the important role bloggers played in this, as well as lots of support from organizations across the politial spectrum.

http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/

(a side note, I’d point to Barak Obama’s website as one of the best uses of technology by a politician that I’m aware of, he blogs, podcasts and has a very easy to navigate and use website, clearly one that the maintaining of is a high priority)

A simple step, but one that hopefully will help – and something I’d think the Sunlight Foundation will be all over (in a very positive way).

A quote from the story on it

The victory for Obama and Coburn demonstrated the growing power of the Internet in influencing
legislation. Their bill would make it easier for Americans to use computers to quickly discover how their money is being spent, and particularly who is benefiting most from the federal budget.

and

Information on federal spending is widely available on the Web, but the Obama-Coburn bill would make it easier to search for and monitor spending. “By helping to lift the veil of secrecy in Washington, this database will help make us better legislators, reporters better journalists and voters more active citizens,” Obama said in a statement. “It’s both unusual and encouraging to see interest groups and bloggers on the left and the right come together to achieve results.”

Note that Coburn is a pretty serious conservative and that once President Bush signs this (the House and Senate both passed it on voice votes) this measure will be Obama’s first bill since he was elected in 2004. I’d personally say a pretty important one – making all federal contracts available in a searchable database on the web is something I’m frankly shocked (though not too shocked) hasn’t already been done and that it took a law to make it happen – but I can only imagine the impact it could have over time in holding the government much more accountable for spending – especially patterns of spending as well as earmarks.

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