WashingtonWatch.com’s project to collect congressional earmark data continues to make great strides. Over 35,000 earmark requests are in the database, and fewer than 50 representatives remain on the “wanted” list.
It’s not all good news. Even some appropriations committee members published their earmark disclosures as scanned PDFs. That’s transparency in name, but not in spirit. Cato’s December policy forum on government transparency was titled “Just Give Us the Data!”, and scanned PDFs are not data … .
On the WashingtonWatch.com earmarks home page, the earmark requests collected so far are mapped by state and sortable by member of Congress and senator. Visitors can vote and comment on earmark requests, or edit a wiki article about requests, adding personal knowledge about projects they are familiar with.