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Follow the money with a mouse-over map

Post by News Tribune Staff on April 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm with No Comments »
April 30, 2008 2:07 pm

I’ve spent a lot of time today trying to figure out the best (and most feasible) way to get some of the information and resources I learned last weekend out to everyone. (Background: When my third grade teacher returned from a conference, she was a little nicer and had some new paper craft ideas for the next few weeks, but that was about it. I’m trying not to replicate that.)

That said, here’s the political equivalent to a woven paper heart: This web site from the Sunlight Foundation allows you to find out what earmarks are coming our way. Type in your ZIP code to find out what bacon is in your neighborhood. Or scroll across the country to see how we rate.

You can mouse over each dollar sign to find out the basics – what, where, how much and to whom.

Have fun, tell me what you find and stay tuned.

Update: If you want to take it a step further, here’s your chance! I got an e-mail from Gabriela Schneider, spokeswoman for the Sunlight Foundation. She pointed me to two very cool sites related to earmarks.

The first is Earmark Watch, which lists some 3,000 appropriations submitted this year. Create an account, search for earmarks, then help them find out – “Are members using earmarks to meet pressing needs? Reward political supporters? Are they good public policy, or vehicles for pure pork?”

The second is this map, aptly titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.” It maps earmarks using Google Earth.

OK, now tell me what you learn!

Open Government
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