Three Candidates Sign On To Google Government
At first glance it looks like three Presidential candidates swore to uphold a law already passed, but since that wouldn’t make any sense at all, we’ll assume they meant they’ll hold the Executive branch to the same standards the Legislative has already adopted. Given the bobbing and weaving of the current administration, that really would be something.
|Three Candidates Sign On To Google Government|
The Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, says that candidates Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, and Ron Paul have all agreed that "should they win the presidency in 2008, they will issue an executive order during their first month in office instructing the entire executive branch to put into practice the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, a Google-like search tool will allow you to see how your tax dollars are being spent on federal contracts, grants and earmarks."
The FFATA has a deadline of January 1st, 2008, which means there’s not a lot of time left for the searchable website to come into being. You may also remember from last year, Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd putting a "secret hold" on the legislation, trying to keep it from passing.
Bloggers put a stop to that pretty fast. Stevens, by the way, just had his house in Alaska raided by the feds, in case you might have wondered why he’d be against such a thing.
But anyway, the FFATA has been lauded by fans of a more transparent government, especially in the wake of a government increasingly more clandestine and wasteful, and has been called the first step towards a "Google Government," a phrase that could be both fascinating and chilling.
All three of the aforementioned candidates signed onto extending the FFATA to the executive branch. Critics will believe it when they see it, though, as they’ve accused the present government of dragging their feet on creating it.
That probably means the site will go live at 12:01 a.m. January 1st, and we won’t know who’s been paid and how much to build it until then.
But most interesting is that only those three have committed so far to more transparent governing, perhaps meaning the remaining candidates like things just as murky as unaccountable as they’ve always been, $200 hammers and all.
What I find neat about Reason.org’s presentation is that they’ve provided the text of the oaths taken and candidate signatures. You can judge for yourself which one looks more presidential by comparing them to the signatures that came before them.
(From an amateur graphologist’s standpoint, you might say Obama’s got the winning autograph – egotistic, confident, energetic, optimistic, a visionary’s handwriting; Brownback’s is a bit angular, which could mean extreme rationality, even to the point sadism; Paul’s is friendly, tired, and trailing, almost like a kid that’s about to fall asleep; both Brownback and Paul have open "o’s" and "a’s" which could mean poor secret keeping. Anyway, just guessing and I in no way stand by my own remarks there.)