Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer

POGO Project On Government Oversight - Blog

 Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer

May 15, 2013

1. How many federal dollars are spent in my community?

Problem: USASpending.gov gives limited state-level spending summaries, but there is no data on a more local level. Searching for federal contract and assistance awards by congressional district, one will find an alarming number of “Unknown” congressional districts (and even some districts blatantly lumped together)—unknown districts with billions of dollars of funding over the years make the whole dataset suspect. There are no spending summaries on a county or municipal level.

2. What small businesses in my community are receiving federal dollars?

Problem: While some data on this is available on USASpending.gov, many local businesses and organizations are left out. Only the first two levels of award recipients are reported, prime awardees (e.g., states) and first-tier sub-awardees (e.g., counties and municipalities). Often there are several levels of federal spending allocation, so local businesses can be second or third-tier sub-awardees and thus are left out of reporting. Continue reading “Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer”

Sacramento Says ‘No’ to Privatizing Airport Screeners

 AFL-CIO Now

01/10/2013; Mike Hall

Saying there is no evidence that replacing the trained airport screeners of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with a private, for-profit corporate workforce would be safer or more efficient, the Sacramento (Calif.) County Board of Supervisors withdrew on Wednesday its request from last year to contract out its screener security operations. Said Supervisor Phil Serna:

There was very little evidence produced…that there is any advantage to privatizing the screeners. Continue reading “Sacramento Says ‘No’ to Privatizing Airport Screeners”

Boxer Statement: Water Resources Development Act: Growing the Economy and Protecting Public Safety September 20, 2012

Boxer Statement: Water Resources Development Act: Growing the Economy and Protecting Public Safety

September 20, 2012

Statement of Senator Barbara Boxer
Full Committee Hearing: “Water Resources Development Act: Growing the Economy and Protecting Public Safety
September 20, 2012

Today’s hearing will look at how the Water Resources Development Act – known as WRDA -supports critical infrastructure nation-wide that promotes economic growth and protects public safety. WRDA authorizes the projects and programs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provides many benefits to American families and businesses – including maintaining navigation routes for commerce and reducing the risk of flooding.

Later this year, I hope to move forward with a Water Resources Development Act. I have already been working closely with Sen. Inhofe and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance a bill. Continue reading “Boxer Statement: Water Resources Development Act: Growing the Economy and Protecting Public Safety September 20, 2012”

Prop 32’s Rich Backers Trying to Bully Working People Out of Politics…Again

HomeProp 32’s Rich Backers Trying to Bully Working People Out of Politics…Again

Submitted by Richard on Wed, 09/05/2012 – 11:09am.

by Amy B. Dean

In their attempts to silence the political voice of working people, conservative groups and millionaire donors have been disingenuous and anti-democratic. But you can’t say they haven’t been persistent.

Proposition 32 — a so-called “paycheck protection” measure that will appear on California’s ballot in November — is hardly a novel innovation. Rather, it is this year’s tired reincarnation of similar ballot initiatives rejected by voters in 1998 and again in 2005.

The current measure is framed as something that would restrict political contributions by both unions and corporations. Yet, as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik recently noted, it has loopholes for corporations that you could drive a campaign bus through. The proposition, Hiltzik wrote, “exempts such common business structures as LLCs, partnerships and real estate trusts. If you’re a venture investor, land developer or law firm, Proposition 32 doesn’t lay a finger on you.” Continue reading “Prop 32’s Rich Backers Trying to Bully Working People Out of Politics…Again”

Kochs Send Millions to Silence California Workers with Prop. 32

 AFL-CIO Now

09/20/2012; Mike Hall

Illustration Courtesy for AFM Local 47

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch could be the poster boys for the big money special interests that are dumping hundreds of millions of dollars in this year’s elections on the national and state levels.  Last week it was reported that the American Future Fund (AFF), a front group for corporate special interests that’s linked to the Kochs, dropped $4 million into the effort to pass California’s Prop. 32. Continue reading “Kochs Send Millions to Silence California Workers with Prop. 32”