Stanford law professor Larry Lessing has come up with a new tool (still in beta) to try and keep the USA government clean and honest. The Change Congress aims to enlist the help of volunteers across the country to keep track on their representatives’ responses on a variety of issues, and then make this seemingly abstract information, concrete through Google mash-ups. Lessing wants congress representatives to commit to four different issues; 1) to promise to not take money from lobbyist and Political Action Committees (PAC), 2) support publicly financed elections, 3) help pass legislation to stop spending money on questionable projects in their districts, and 4) to help make Congress a more transparent place over all. Candidates who wish to be measured by these guidelines can do so by filling out a form on the website.
It is hoped that the project will have bi-partisan appeal, and that volunteers across the country will participate. The project anticipates that there is wide ranging dissatisfaction with congress in general, and that this energy can be channeled into making congress a more accountable place for all of us.