Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Blogging Porkbusters

In another dramatic prototype for the Blogosphere, Glenn Reynolds and N.Z. Bear of The Truth Laid Bare have teamed up on an excellent project attacking Big Government spending.

Porkbusters may very well change forever how Big Government operates, and represent yet another way that the Blogswarm can help restore "small d" democracy to governance.

Glenn describes the idea:
How are we going to mobilize the blogosphere in support of cuts in wasteful spending to support Katrina relief? Here's the plan.

Identify some wasteful spending in your state or (even better) Congressional District. Put up a blog post on it. Go to N.Z. Bear's new PorkBusters page and list the pork, and add a link to your post.

Then call your Senators and Representative and ask them if they're willing to support having that program cut or -- failing that -- what else they're willing to cut in order to fund Katrina relief. (Be polite, identify yourself as a local blogger and let them know you're going to post the response on your blog). Post the results. Then go back to NZ Bear's page and post a link to your follow-up blog post.
This is without doubt a brilliant idea. If we can get our elected officials to pay a high enough price with their constituents -- the people who actually vote for them, not the people and organizations who build their financial warchests -- we can begin to restore some accountability for wasteful government spending.

I may be here in Iraq now. But I return to one of the more blue states in the Union, and state and congressional districts among the most prone to pork barrel projects. (Known variously as line item expenditures, set-asides, earmarks and member items.) I think this is an idea that will have lasting value. I see no legitimate reason why public expenditures can't be posted online as part of a public review process, though I'm not holding my breath. Come the day our Government can out-reveal Porkbusters in Transparency, Porkbusters will no longer be required.

Until then, keep breathing and keep digging through those barrels.

Technorati tag: Porkbusters

Links: Stones Cry Out, Dawn Patrol at Mudville Gazette, RightWingNation, Tapscott's Copy Desk

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