Sunlight Foundation: Public=Online

An email yesterday from the Sunlight Foundation begins like this:

Here’s the deal, friends:

There is going to be more money in this election year than any mid-term election in history.

Whether you think this is good or bad, the Supreme Court made their decision in
January, and that’s just the way it is.

The very least we can do is ensure that all
that money is fully disclosed to the public ONLINE and in REAL-TIME. And
right now you can help make that happen.


The URL takes you to a link where you can sign…

“Government transparency is critical to creating a better democracy, and of highest importance in how I cast my vote. I pledge, through my sustained engagement, to hold public officials accountable
for being open and transparent. ”

Through this pledge we let our elected officials and candidates for office know that they must answer to the public in being more transparent. Government must make what it does, how it is
influenced and how it spends our money available to citizens ONLINE and

Take a moment to swing over there and help save democracy in America.

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Srinidhi Boray

Awesome Patrick. This Pledge is real and not an easy one to make that ensures Transparency works. Seeking truth is not a easy battle. Transparency in actions, is not only for the politicians, it also applies to public servants and for the citizens alike. Transparency reinforces accountability.

The 10% rich Americans and the Wealthiest of Corporations who have no interest in the social condition of the common man, will with the power of money and clout attempt to bring the common man into more stifling modern bondage.

This Supreme Court decision to allow liberal corporate funding into politics is a blemish and a fatal blow to those working at grassroot.

Not only one must fight for transparency, one must also look for better system that works for common working class. The 50 years of history tells it has been otherwise. The recent recession, it has been argued – was actually a planned demolition by active participation. This has pulverized the honest working class.

Stephen Peteritas

Signed it. Now here’s hoping it actually gets put into effect. If it does it will be extremely interesting to see the updates and what’s getting spent where. I wonder how it would effect overall campaign donations. I could just see someone donating and then being upset about how their money got spent days later, if it truly is in real-time.

Patrick Quinn

Excellent points. Srinidhi’s observation about the gross under-representation of the civic population in the government social space is my chief concern as this society-wide transformation develops. Stephen’s point about the practical downside of real-time reporting of campaign donation deployments is an example of how utterly complex the Brave New World will be, and how new tech will impinge upon every imaginable conventional certainty about the political process.

I’ve spent the past two days at a social media conference listening to very bright people talk about how “powerful” is this medium–and they documented their points by talking about how useful it is for “building personal brands” and selling soap. There is a race underway between government and governed for control of the social space in which the governed will interact with government. Government is winning 1,000 to 3.