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Update on congressional transparency pledge at PledgeBank.com

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  • Josh Tauberer
    FYI: [ This is a copy of the message you have just sent to everyone who signed your pledge http://www.en-gb.pledgebank.com/openhouse ] Hello, Thanks for
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 18, 2007
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      FYI:

      [ This is a copy of the message you have just sent to everyone
      who signed your pledge
      http://www.en-gb.pledgebank.com/openhouse ]

      Hello,

      Thanks for signing my pledge on PledgeBank supporting
      transparency in the U.S. Congress. The goal of the pledge was
      to see if we can raise some awareness about the recommendations
      of The Open House Project and to get transparency the attention
      it deserves. Right now, 721 people signed the pledge to support
      their current Members of Congress if they vote for or sponsor
      an initiative recommended by the Open House Project. The pledge
      closes at the end of January and I'd like to hit 1,000, so
      please encourage others to sign the pledge!

      http://www.govtrack.us/action/openhousepledge.xpd
      http://www.pledgebank.com/openhouse

      I'm writing to give some updates on what bills count for the
      purpose of this pledge, and which Members of Congress deserve
      some big props for their support of transparency.

      When the pledge was created four months ago, there were four
      bills with primarily Republican support in the House that I
      considered a transparency initiative following the
      recommendations of the OHP. These bills would require 1) that
      bills, resolutions, amendments, and conference reports be made
      available on the Internet in some cases at least 48 hours
      before their consideration (two bills), 2) that all House
      committees post record votes on their web sites within 48 hours
      of such votes, and 3) that the valuable, nonpartisan
      Congressional Research Service reports be made available
      directly to the public.

      Since then, 27 additional Members of Congress added their names
      as cosponsors to the bills above, and two new bills were added
      to the list. The first is a bill that would make sure
      legislation is available to representatives 10 days before
      being voted on. (Although it doesn't require the legislation to
      be available to the public, it probably would be.) The second
      is the Senate-counterpart to the Congressional Research Service
      reports bill above, sponsored by Senator Lieberman.

      In fact, last Tuesday at a Senate hearing on E-Government
      issues, Senator Lieberman made some important remarks regarding
      using the Internet to foster transparency. I wanted to single
      that out here because sponsoring a bill is one thing, but
      making a public statement as well on the importance of the
      public's access online to legislative information and roll call
      votes is a major achievement. And some of his remarks were not
      made in a vacuum --- it was a result of the efforts of the
      transparency-through-technology community.

      Right now 151 Members of Congress have sponsored one of these
      bills. To see if any of your Members of Congress are on the
      list (because then according to the pledge you support them!),
      check out:

      http://www.govtrack.us/action/openhousepledge.xpd

      If your Members of Congress aren't on the list, you might think
      about sending them a letter! Actually, if your Members *are* on
      the list, you might send them a letter supporting their actions
      as well!

      Thanks again! (I may email once more in January, but that will
      be it. And, as a disclaimer, I helped draft the Open House
      recommendations, but the Open House Project has no ties to this
      pledge.)

      Joshua Tauberer
      GovTrack.us

      http://www.pledgebank.com/openhouse

      ---------------

      This message has been sent through PledgeBank by the pledge
      creator of a pledge you signed, 'I, Joshua Tauberer, will
      pledge my vote to my senator & representative in 2008 if they
      vote for or sponsor a transparency initiative recommended by
      The Open House Project but only if 10,000 other active citizens
      will do the same.' The pledge's URL is
      <http://www.pledgebank.com/openhouse>.

      --
      - Josh Tauberer
      - GovTrack.us

      http://razor.occams.info

      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
      Tortoise (in "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
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