Shedding More Light

John Campbell
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Posted: Nov 08, 2007 9:38 AM

Yesterday, the Sunlight Foundation announced the availability of a new interactive map from Google Earth which literally pinpoints all of the projects earmarked by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. This is a great example of how technology can help make Congress more transparent and accountable to you.

Through Google Earth you can quickly find out where earmarked projects are and how much they are worth. The best part is that out of the nearly 1,500 earmarks highlighted, many are credited to their Congressional sponsors thanks to earmarkwatch.org.

Now, I have made it very clear that I will no longer request any earmarks. However, if you look at the map of my district, you will find two earmarks, one from Laguna Niguel and another from Irvine that total $4 million. I did not make these requests. The earmark from Laguna Niguel is unclaimed, however the earmark in Irvine has 6 sponsors, most of which are not even from California. This highlights the very problem I have been trying to shed light on for the last year! Traditionally, earmarks are slipped quietly into huge spending bills without any accountability and corruption easily occurs.

With the use of this tool you can truly “see” where your tax dollars are going. 

To download Google Earth Click here
Then go to the Sunlight Foundation’s Website to access the Defense Earmark File