You can learn a lot about your community, state and country. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.
Each week the Missourian will feature another open record. This week:
The records: Legistorm.com is a website that provides information about spending among members of Congress. The site gives the earmarks that U.S. Senator Roy Blunt has attached to different bills, the amount set aside and the organizations receiving these earmarks. Additionally, the Federal Election Commission provides campaign contribution records for candidates.
Why you'd want them: During her unsuccessful bid for the Senate*, Robin Carnahan accused Blunt of wasteful earmark spending and of providing earmarks for political contributors. After the election, many conservatives in Congress pledged to ban all earmarks. These records inform voters of both Blunts' earmark record and who contributed money to his campaign.
Where you get the records: Blunt's earmark record is available at http://www.legistorm.com/earmarks/details/member/131/Rep_Roy_D_Blunt/page/1/sort/amount/type/desc/year/all/filter_by/all.html. Information on contributions to Blunt's campaign is available at http://fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/mapHSCandDetail.do?election_yr=2010&detailType=cand&cand_id=S0MO00183&category=stateS_rep&stateName=MO.
How much it will cost: Both websites provide the information for free.