Blogoshere Helps Reduce Pork Barrel Spending

There’s two types of stories I’m a sucker for reporting on: stories about the blogosphere actually doing something worthwhile, and issues in this hyper-polarized age in which left and right can agree. This story contains elements of both. USA Today reports on how the Blogosphere’ spurs government oversight:

When watchdog groups that monitor federal spending wanted more information on 1,800 “pork barrel” projects buried in a House appropriations bill, they listed them on the Internet and asked readers to dig deeper. Within days, details began pouring in.

The same thing happened when enlisted readers of its website to find out which senator had blocked legislation that would create an online database of federal grants and contracts. One by one, senators were eliminated until Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., were uncovered.

The two episodes illustrate the latest trend in government oversight: More light is being thrown on Congress, not just by the media and public interest groups, but in the “blogosphere” where Internet users meet.

The Agonist applauds “hyperlocalization.”

One thing blogs can do is what I call “hyperlocalization” which is taking a national issue, feeding it into the local blogosphere and having it come back out the national blogosphere-media complex amplified in a way the local news could never do it, with the focus and stamina the national media can never maintain.

Captain’s Quarters is also supportive of the article and reducing pork. The same post criticizes an article which actually supports pork-barrel spending at The New Republic. My only objection to the argument at Captain’s Quarters is that they suggest that TNR is representative of liberal thought (or has much relevance at all lately).

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Bob Davis says:

    The Washington State Potato Commission and the Washington Asparagus Commission recently held a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Patty Murray in Richland, Washington on November 12, 2009.
    The purpose of the fundraiser was to thank and reward Senator Patty Murray for the millions of dollars in potato and asparagus research appropriations and earmarks that the Senator has secured for the Washington State potato and asparagus industries over the past several years.
    During the November 12th fundraiser, representatives from Washington State Potato Commission and Washington Asparagus Commission indicated that they would continue to raise money for and support Senator Patty Murray if she continues to bring home the earmarks for them.
    The fundraiser was attended by 25 representatives of the Washington potato and asparagus industries.

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