Just Give Us the Earmark Data! (How You Can Help)
Earmarks represent the worst of Washington, D.C. to many people. Washington acts as a “favor factory” when campaign contributions and lobbying pitches go in and taxpayers’ cash comes out.
Well, we’re doing something about it. And you can help.
In our hugely successful earmark hunting contest last summer, we asked you, the public, to help us gather earmark information. We ended up with a database of over 40,000 earmark requests for the 2010 fiscal year!
There’s no reason why the American people should have to be investigative journalists to find out what their representatives are doing, so this year WashingtonWatch.com and a host of collaborators are starting a campaign called “Just Give Us the Earmark Data!“
On the campaign site, Earmarkdata.org, we’re asking you to ask Congress for earmark transparency.
The home page describes some of what was been happening with earmarks, including President Obama’s call for earmark transparency in his State of the Union speech.
And the next thing you should do is tell a friend. (Clicking will open an email for you to send.)
We are also working there with database experts to develop and perfect the data model that we want Congress to use, so we can get the most out of the information we get. If you’re a developer, you’ll want to study the data schema we’re producing and monitor its development.
(There are some moves afoot to do away with earmarks entirely. We’ll report on that here on the blog, of course, and on the Earmarkdata.org site.)
What could be simpler, Congress: Just Give Us the Earmark Data!