January 7, 2009
Posted: 01:05 PM ET
Well they aren't summer interns anymore. Actually most of them are probably working real jobs, but their work two years ago for CNN's investigative team finally has brought the entire congressional earmark process into the open.
In the summer of 2007, we assembled a team of interns to ask every senator and every member of Congress to disclose their pork barrel requests, known as earmarks. The requests in the past have been done in complete secrecy. Most of us found out about pork barrel spending only after it was included in budget bills.
We upset a lot of politicians with that survey. Most members of Congress and the Senate never even bothered to call us back. But a few did and thought it was a good idea for us to post their requests online.
Now they all will have to do it....because the two people in charge of doling out the money, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Rep. David Obey (D-Wisconsin) issued new rules today (you can read them below). Basically, if you want the people’s money, you’d better tell the people why, online and in advance.
I can't help but think our summer interns have brought a little summer sunlight to the dark world of congressional spending.
For more info see this release.
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