Links to House earmark disclosures in one databaseBy Bill Allison Apr 06 2009 6:19 p.m. 12 comments
So how many members made the deadline? I can't be sure, but I tried to find out over the weekend. I went through 430-some Web sites (there are a few vacancies right now -- Rahm Emanuel's seat, Hilda Solis' seat, and Kirsten Gillibrand's seat) looking for those disclosures (sometimes it was really interesting, sometimes it was thankless drudgery). On 116 Web pages, I couldn't find any earmark disclosures (some of these may be from members who don't disclose earmarks -- I used the Club for Growth's list of earmark abstainers, but found that some members on it -- like Rep. Duncan Hunter -- did request earmarks. There were also four members who looked like they were set up to disclose earmarks, but hadn't posted any content.
As I suspected, the disclosures are useless if you want to aggregate them for the entire House. Some members posted unreadable pdfs (I indicated this sometimes in the notes). Some posted charts. Some have press releases for every single earmark, others have downloadable Word documents. Some members posted the complete request letters (again, I tried to indicate this), others posted the bare minimum amount of information.
Have a look at what I found, and if I've missed things, please leave them in comments below. I suspect a lot of members will be adding disclosures to their sites today.
The most amazing thing (which I thought about as I did this) is that I believe this is the first time members have been required to use their official Web sites for disclosure. Next time, let's hope they plan a little better so that the information is easier to get to.
Update: You can download my data here in an Excel spreadsheet. Another note: in some of the comments, I noted whether or not the disclosure was hard to find. This was largely subjective, but basically, if I had to scroll to the bottom of a lengthy page that seemed to have nothing do with earmarks to find the disclosure, I labeled it hard to find. These were definitely hard for me to find, anyway...
Update 2: There are 292 members who had earmark disclosures online when I finished my work. That figure does not include an erroneous link to a Don Young disclosure, linked from his home page. That was for FY 2009 requests, not FY 2010.
Update 3: Rep. Allyson Schwartz's list of earmark requests is under a section titled "Fighting For My Constituents' Priorities." Just updated the database.
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