Home

Blog

Recently Visited

  • Getting bills...

News, Commentary, and What to Watch on WashingtonWatch.com Blog Feed

Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle!

Earmarks – they’re how members of Congress and senators steer federal funds to special interests and projects in their districts. It’s often called “pork barrel” spending because the money is divided up based on seniority and insider deals rather than the general welfare of the country.

Here’s an update on the progress of the contest!

For years now, earmarking has been conducted behind the scenes, but the House and Senate recently required their membership to reveal earmark requests. The door to the smoke-filled room has been unlocked, and now we’re going to kick it down!

The problem is that earmark information is spread out across congressional Web sites, and it’s in many different formats. The solution? We’ve created a system for compiling earmark data in one place—actually, for you to compile it.

We want you to add earmarks to our database through our earmark entry form. Pick your hometown member of Congress or Senator, your favorite representative—or your least favorite—and put their earmarks in the database.

We’ve put together some tips and tricks that will help you quickly and easily enter those earmarks!

As we collect it, we’re going to make this information available to anyone who wants it—other Web sites, reporters, and researchers. Everyone in the country will be able to see who requests earmarks and where these taxpayer dollars go. (Take a look at the earmarks we’ve already collected!)

Sorting through earmarks to put them in the database isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do, but you will be a transparency hero for doing it, and we’re also going to sweeten the deal with some recognition and prizes!

To the person who enters the most earmarks, we’ll give an Amazon Kindle! (6″ diagonal E Ink version) It’s the slim, lightweight, wireless way to read stuff!

We’ll give an iPod Shuffle to the person who enters the second highest number of earmarks.

And to third place we’ll give a delicious Regular Deluxe Fruitcake!

Any prize can be collected in cash of equivalent value. (What – you don’t like fruitcake?)

Be sure to keep reading! Contests have rules, and this is a contest.

No account or login is needed to enter earmarks in the database, but to have your earmark entries counted for the contest, you must have a WashingtonWatch.com account and be logged in to that account. You can get your free account here. (Note: If you see “log out” in the upper right hand corner of the page, that means you’re logged in. If you see “log in” that means you’re logged out. Got it? Check regularly!)

The contest ends and the prizes will be awarded when all earmark requests are collected or at the beginning of the federal government’s 2010 fiscal year (October 1, 2009), whichever comes first.

Earmarks that are incomplete, improperly entered, or that duplicate previously entered earmarks will not be counted. Overwriting a pre-existing earmark will not award credit to the person overwriting the earlier earmark. We will check your work.

If you enter all earmarks for a member or senator, let us know. We’ll thank you and link to your site or organization on our blog.

Be sure to read the instructions on the Earmark Entry Form carefully. You will save yourself and us time. If after reviewing the instructions, you can’t figure out how to deal with something, do contact us with questions, and we will try to respond quickly.

Alright, enough rules and advice—Create an account or log in. Let’s get the earmark transparency we deserve!

Visitor Comments for Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! RSS 2.0

Earmark Data Entry - Tips and Tricks - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

links for 2009-07-20 « Overton’s Arrow

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog (tags: earmarks legislation Congress contest kindle) [...]

Congress Links | linkthe.com

[...] Help control earmarks – and win an Amazon Kindle (Washington Watch). [...]

Win an Amazon Kindle

[...] Anything? Well, here is that anything. I didn’t make up the rules but if you want a Kindle, here is your shot // Click here to cancel [...]

Oink oink! Crowdsourcing government earmark requests | dv8-designs

[...] Cato Institute’s Jim Harper when explaining why he’s giving one away as a prize in his crowdsourced earmark-exposure contest. Behind the fruitcake lies a serious purpose: crowdsource the compilation of all federal [...]

Oink oink! Crowdsourcing government earmark requests | Supossably

[...] “People are desperate for fruitcake these days,” says The Cato Institute’s Jim Harper when explaining why he’s giving one away as a prize in his crowdsourced earmark-exposure contest. [...]

Oink oink! Crowdsourcing government earmark requests | Superstars Of Gaming

[...] “People are desperate for fruitcake these days,” says The Cato Institute’s Jim Harper when explaining why he’s giving one away as a prize in his crowdsourced earmark-exposure contest. [...]

Debugging Earmarks | Tropophilia

[...] Epicenter blog notes that the site, in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation, will be rewarding the top citizen watchdogs with Amazon Kindles, iPods, and other [...]

Fenixnordic Group » Blog Archive » Report Federal Pork, Win A Kindle

[...] government-tranparency advocate Jim Harper who works at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. The earmarks contest is funded in part by the Sunlight [...]

Earmarks Contest Going Great Guns! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

Oink oink! Crowdsourcing government earmark requests | linkthe.com

[...] “People are desperate for fruitcake these days,” says The Cato Institute’s Jim Harper when explaining why he’s giving one away as a prize in his crowdsourced earmark-exposure contest. [...]

Report Federal Pork, Win a Kindle | eMediaOne

[...] government-tranparency advocate Jim Harper who works at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. The earmarks contest is funded in part by the Sunlight [...]

Earmarks Wanted! State-by-State . . . - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

Earmarks Contest Update! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

Free Kindle Contest – Win a Kindle « Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books

[...] Watch Blog’s Kindle Contest. Identify earmarks and win – Oct 31st or [...]

Free Kindle – 6 Contests « Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books

[...] Watch Blog have a ‘Help Control Earmarks’ Kindle Contest. I’m rather confused as to what it is and it seems like work – however, a free kindle [...]

An Earmark-Free Georgia? - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - July 27, 2009 - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest – in which we’re offering prizes to top earmark hunters – has gotten off to a great start! We [...]

Wanted: Earmarks! - Member-by-Member - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Entering earmarks in our earmark data entry form will make you a transparency hero. Be sure to log in for credit in our earmarks contest! [...]

A Unique Earmark-Hunting Challenge - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] you enter them into the database, you will get credit for it in our earmark contest, but even breaking them down into text will allow one of your eager earmark hunters to move [...]

Crowdsourcing Examples: Release 101

[...] Washington Watch Blog: For years now, earmarking has been conducted behind the scenes, but the House and Senate recently required their membership to reveal earmark requests. The Washington Watch Blog is encouraging users to submit earmarks from their hometown member of Congress or Senator, yes with a Kindle going to the person who enters the most earmarks.They have already compiled an impressive array of data. [...]

Liberal Congress, Political Junkets | Congress Too Busy to Read It's Own Bills | Libertarian Romantic Ideal

[...] And finally, more citizens are becoming their own government watchdogs: WashingtonWatch.com, Help Control Earmarks – and Win an Amazon Kindle! [...]

10,000 Earmarks - We Broke the Map! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] from your state or district, help out by adding earmarks to the database! You have a chance to win an Amazon Kindle and other fabulous prizes while making America a better [...]

Earmarks Contest Update #2! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest continues to make great [...]

Wanted Earmarks - Member-by-Member II - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Entering earmarks in our earmark data entry form will make you a transparency hero. Be sure to log in for credit in our earmarks contest! [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - August 3, 2009 - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest – in which we’re offering prizes to top earmark hunters – continues! We have collected over [...]

June

I do not have a problem wit my state’s needs it is all for the people in the state to improve and help where needed not any corporations or individuals who owe a a favor at all… For the people

June

I am happy to say that my Senators ( Lautenberg and Menendez in NJ have asked for what our state and the people in our state need from our federal government … by protecting our bodies of water and the environment…. helping also our agriculture after all we are the “Garden State ” along with supporting our local government where needed,
and… is not in any way big earmarks taken for .. what so many imply.. I always have been in touch by email and phone daily with whatever my opinions may be and what I feel is important
It is what each state needs to get from their federal government and should get from what they put in to help each state run better for the people in it.. Not The corporations like insurance and Oil…. I can only speak for my state and am very upset with so many who take money from businesses that they owe in some way If anyone can tell me different please let me know and I will research it and see for myself

Wanted Earmarks: The List is Shrinking! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] We have a whopping 17,000 earmarks in the database now, and the list of members and senators we need to collect earmarks from is shrinking. We’ll have every earmark logged before long, and we’ll have a winner in the big earmarks contest! [...]

Earmarks Contest Update #3! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest is moving forward quickly, and the “wanted” list is shrinking! The media is taking [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - August 10, 2009 - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest continues to expose congressional [...]

Wanted: Appropriators! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Below are appropriators for whom we have not yet collected earmarks, divided by party and ordered by seniority on their committees. Click on the links to see their earmark requests, and click here to go to the earmark data entry form. (Be sure and log in to earn credit in our earmarks contest!) [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Users Changing Washington: Office of Management and Budget to Track Earmark Requests! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] getting them all, and we recently surpassed 20,000 earmarks! Take a look! (The latest update in our earmark hunting contest is here. And here is the current “wanted” [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Earmarks Project Drives Obama Administration Reform

[...] move follows a project WashingtonWatch.com has conducted this summer: asking the public to plug earmark disclosures into a database. The site now maps over 20,000 earmarks. (Well, [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Earmarks Project Drives Obama Administration Reform | Think Tank West

[...] move follows a project WashingtonWatch.com has conducted this summer: asking the public to plug earmark disclosures into a database. The site now maps over 20,000 earmarks. (Well, [...]

Earmarks Contest Update #4! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest continues into its final leg. Earmark hunters across the country have collected over 25,000 earmark [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - August 17, 2009 - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest continues to expose congressional earmark requests. We now have over 25,000 earmarks in our [...]

Our Database of Over 25,000 Earmark Requests - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] competition is intense in our earmark hunting contest. The most recent update is here – we’ll have a new update later [...]

Earmarks Contest Update #5! - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] more than 34,000 earmark requests in the database, our earmarks contest has been an extraordinary success. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the earmark hunters who [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - August 24, 2009 - The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest has now collected a whooping 34,000 earmark requests! Read the latest in a WashingtonWatch.com blog [...]

Free Kindle 2 contests, DX « Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books

[...] Watch Blog’s Kindle Contest. Identify earmarks and win – Oct 31st or [...]

WashingtonWatch.com Digest – September 8, 2009 – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] earmarks contest has collected over 41,000 earmark requests and we’ve brought it to a close. Next comes [...]

Changing Government From Your Couch – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] Back from vacation and digging out, I will be furiously working over the weekend to check the data we collected, flag earmarks that made it into bills, and award the prizes to the top earmark hunters in our contest. [...]

Changing Government From Your Couch — Technology Liberation Front

[...] Back from vacation and digging out, I will be furiously working over the weekend to check the data we collected, flag earmarks that made it into bills, and award the prizes to the top earmark hunters in the contest. [...]

“Let ‘Er Buck” – 500,000 Bucks, in Fact – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] been poring over the earmark request data we collected in our big contest, and working to correlate it to the earmarks that made it into bills. It’s slow going, so far [...]

Earmark Horse Hockey | Think Tank West

[...] poring over the earmark request data collected in WashingtonWatch.com’s big earmark hunting contest, and correlating it to the earmarks that made it into bills. It’s slow going, so far . . [...]

Earmark Horse Hockey | Austrian Economics Blog

[...] poring over the earmark request data collected in WashingtonWatch.com’s big earmark hunting contest, and correlating it to the earmarks that made it into bills. It’s slow going, so far . . [...]

Earmarks in the Senate CJS Spending Bill – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] the wrap-up of our earmark hunting contest, we have been linking the 40,000+ earmark requests to the earmarks that made it into [...]

And the Earmarks Contest Winner Is . . . ! – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] it started back in mid-July, I had no idea of the response our earmark hunting contest would get. But people showed up to this party! Earmarks have definitely touched a nerve across the [...]

State of the Union: President Obama Wants Earmark Transparency – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] summer, our very successful earmarks contest brought together data about the more than 40,000 earmark requests members of Congress and senators [...]

Transparency: Read the Bill? See the Earmarks! | Think Tank West

[...] thirst for transparency is not speculative. WashingtonWatch.com (a site I run) recently asked the public to gather data about congressional earmarks, which have long been shrouded in secrecy. In under two weeks, [...]

Just Give Us the Earmark Data! (How You Can Help) – The WashingtonWatch.com Blog

[...] our hugely successful earmark hunting contest last summer, we asked you, the public, to help us gather earmark information. We ended up with a [...]

Report Federal Pork, Win a Kindle | Business | Wired

[...] government-tranparency advocate Jim Harper who works at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. The earmarks contest is funded in part by the Sunlight [...]

Earmark Transparency Excellence | Ending Spending | EndingSpending.com

[…] the public a chance to see what special projects our representatives were seeking funding for. At some effort, we collected the data and put it on […]

Add Comment


Comments are limited to 1,000 characters. Please do other visitors the courtesy of expressing yourself concisely. WashingtonWatch.com bears no responsibility for comments nor any obligation to publish them. Comments that are impolite, off-topic, violations of others' rights, or advertisements are likely to be removed.