Anti corruption via "networked journalism"

Anti corruption via "networked journalism"

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Jeff Jarvis points out that the anti corruption effort I've mentioned is an example of networked journalism, maybe the first new big case:

A bipartisan posse of bloggers managed to out Ted Stevens — everybody’s favorite punchline these days — as the senator who had put a secret hold on a bill to allow us to search and destroy pork in federal spending.

The folks at TPM Muckraker have been among the leaders of this effort:

But Sen. Coburn's spokesman John Hart questioned Stevens' motive. "The only reason to oppose this bill is if he has something to hide," Hart said.

Hart said that Stevens, who's on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, failed to attend any hearings on the bill, an assertion backed up by vote tallies. "If he had concerns, he should have addressed them in regular order rather than blocking something that will benefit millions of taxpayers," Hart said. He added that after Stevens' office raised the concerns, Coburn's office requested a meeting, but never got one.

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that Coburn's proposal would cost "$4 million in 2007 and about $15 million [total] over the 2007-2011 period." By comparison, Stevens — who's been called the "King of Pork" by one government watchdog — was recently publicly lambasted for his appropriation of more than $200 million for the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," which would link Ketchikan, Alaska (population 8,900) with its airport on Gravina Island (population 50).

Despite the fact that Stevens' office has refused until today to admit that he placed the hold, Saunders said, "This senator does not place secret holds.”

This is potentially historic; please take a look.

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