Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Albany Embraces the Information Age

Well, "embrace" may be a little strong, but AG Cuomo's "Project Sunlight" promises to make Albany significantly more open to those with access to the Internet. The Daily Freeman puts it this way:

Imagine a single Internet site at which Empire State residents could track campaign contributions, identify legislative patrons of pork barrel spending, monitor lobbyists, keep tabs on state contracts and call up legislative voting records.

Sounds downright transparent, no? Blair Horner, former NYPIRG legislative director, who is running the project, told the Daily Freeman that the site might be up and running in a couple of weeks.

Of course, as the Daily Freeman notes, this is something that the legislature should have done long ago. At the Brennan Center, we frequently produce reports detailing the performance of state governments and the effectiveness of state laws across the country. There's no question that most states -- including neighboring states like Connecticut -- make it far easier to collect detailed data about things like campaign contributions, voting records, etc.

So why didn't the State Legislature make sure something like Project Sunlight was put in effect long ago? It will certainly make our job easier. Who wouldn't want that?

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