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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Make Your Own Video, Tell Your Congressman What You Think He/She Does All Day

The Sunlight Foundation's Punch Clock campaign seeking to persuade all Members of Congress to post their daily schedules on the Internet has moved into phase two and features an interesting new twist - encouraging supporters to make videos explaing what they think their representative does with his or her time all day.

Sunlight is already offering $1,000 rewards - aka "Goodwill Bounty" - to people who persuade congressmen to sign the Punch Clock Pledge to post their daily schedules, and $250 for those who nab congressional challengers.

Now the Congressinthirtyseconds.com site allows supporters to:

"Mix and match the video and audio sound tracks provided and add your own text to create a 30 second video explaining what you think Members of Congress do with their time. Make as many videos as you want, watch other user-created videos, share them with your friends, and share it with your Member of Congress when you ask him or her to open up their schedule.

"Show them that being open is better than leaving us to guess."

Persuading congressmen to post their daily schedules might not seem like a big deal and it certainly won't prevent the kinds of contacts by lobbyists and other special interests seeking special favors.

But post daily schedules is an important step in the right direction, which is a maximum of practical transparency in the operations of our government.