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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

KLEPT, Obama on verge of major anti-corruption accomplishment

Senator Barack Obama introduced a bill (along with Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)) to increase transparency of federal spending. From Obama's press release (April 7, 2006):
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today announced the introduction of legislation that would publicly disclose all recipients of federal funding and financial assistance. The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590) will allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent, the Senators said.

The federal government awards roughly $300 billion in grants annually to 30,000 different organizations across the United States, according to the General Services Administration. This bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to establish and maintain a single public Web site that lists all entities receiving federal funds, including the name of each entity, the amount of federal funds the entity has received annually by program, and the location of the entity. All federal assistance must be posted within 30 days of such funding being awarded to an organization.

The legislation has passed the Senate (see TPMmuckraker (Justin Rood)) and will be voted in the House tomorrow. See TPMmuckraker (Paul Kiel).

When Obama gave his corruption speech in Kenya, I had a criticism. Toward the end of the speech Obama spoke about how his father risked and ultimately lost his cushy government job for criticizing Kenya's corrupt president.

The speech clearly called for ordinary Kenyans to take personal risks and stand against corruption.

The obvious question was, what is Barack Obama willing to risk to resist corruption in the United States?

To achieve change one needs an insider game and an outsider game. In Kenya Obama can play the outsider. In Chicago, Illinois and the United States Obama has to play the insider at this point in his life.

Passing the Obama-Coburn bill is impressive for a freshman Senator in the minority party, but it's also important. In the Nyberg Corruption Postulate I wrote:
To reduce corruption one can either increase transparency or decrease conflict-of-interest.


So Obama-Coburn attacks the root issue of corruption.

[UPDATE: The legislation passed the House. Next step: President Bush. See TPMmuckraker (Paul Kiel).]

1 Comments:

  • I did not know about this bill, but it seems like a good one. A lot of interesting data in an accessible place, may it happen, will facilitate a lot of higher level analysis and overview.

    By Blogger PastorNancy, at 7:13 PM, September 12, 2006  

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