{ require_once('class.compressor.php'); //Include the class. The full path may be required } $compressor = new compressor('css,javascript,page'); Left In Aboite: Congress and the Benefits of Sunshine <$BlogMetaData>


Friday, December 15, 2006

Congress and the Benefits of Sunshine

From The New York Times:

At first, the innovation sounds simple enough: Representative-elect Kirsten Gillibrand has decided to post details of her work calendar on the Internet at the end of each day so constituents can tell what she is actually doing for their money.

In fact, it is a quiet touch of revolution. The level of transparency pledged by Ms. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York — down to naming lobbyists and fund-raisers among those she might meet with — is simply unheard of in Congress. The secrecy that cloaks the dealings of lawmakers and deep-pocket special interests underpinned the corruption issue that Ms. Gillibrand invoked as voters turned Republicans from majority rule last month.

For all the worthy proposals for ethics reform being hashed out by the incoming Congress, a heavy dose of Internet transparency should not be overlooked in the effort to repair lawmakers’ tattered credibility. The technology is already there, along with the public’s appetite for more disclosure about the byways of power in Congress.

The Web is increasingly wielded by both campaign donors and bloggers clicking and tapping as wannabe muckrakers. Politicians would be wise to catch up. Local citizens were enlisted to track pork-barrel abuses in the last campaign by a new watchdog organization, the
Sunlight Foundation, which enlisted Ms. Gillibrand’s disclosure pledge. It aims to have voters use the Internet as an engine of political information.

Much more than disclosure is needed to cure the Capitol’s ills — particularly some sort of independent agency to prod Congress to fully investigate corruption allegations. But prompt, searchable postings of basic data — from lobbyists’ itineraries and expenses to incumbents’ donor ties and legislative labors — should be part of any corruption cure. In the information age, this amounts to a modest proposal for a Congress truly intent on reform.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

3 Comments:

Blogger Robert Rouse said...

I wonder how many Republicans are signing the pledge.

title="comment permalink">December 16, 2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Jeff Pruitt said...

This is a fantastic idea. I think you'll start to see more and more fresh ideas from the new Democrats...

title="comment permalink">December 17, 2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger John Good said...

Bringing things out into the light is never a bad idea. . .and something that has been sorely lacking under this administration.

title="comment permalink">December 20, 2006 8:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

$compressor->finish();