Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lewis Katz Commits to Make Schedule Available Online: Steve LaTourette Refuses

With nothing to hide, Lewis Katz agrees to put official daily schedule on website

Lewis Katz is earning praise today for agreeing to place his official schedule on the Internet as a member of the next Congress.

Grassroots activists in the district have asked Lewis Katz to sign an agreement to make his schedule in Congress available to the public on the Internet, as part of the Punch Clock Campaign. The Punch Clock Campaign is sponsored by the Sunlight Network, a Washington-based group dedicated to more open government.

“Lewis Katz is a national leader in openness and accountability,” said Zephyr Teachout, National Director for the Sunlight Network. “By opening his schedule to the public, Lewis Katz is showing that he is willing to use transparency to strengthen democracy. More importantly, Lewis Katz recognizes that when the public knows what their representative does all day, they can hold their representative accountable to them.”

Steve LaTourette has ignored offers to sign the same agreement.

The agreement Lewis Katz agreed to sign reads: I believe citizens have a right to know what their Member of Congress does every day. Starting with the next Congress, I promise to publish my daily official work schedule on the Internet, within 24 hours of the end of every work day. I will include all matters relating to my role as a Member of Congress. I will include all meetings with constituents, other Members, and lobbyists, listed by name. (In rare cases I will withhold the names of constituents whose privacy must be protected.) I will also include all fundraising events. Events will be listed whether Congress is in session or not, and whether I am in Washington, traveling, or in my district.

Sunlight is asking Members of Congress and FEC qualified challengers to sign an agreement to post their Congressional schedules. Sunlight is offering a good will bounty to anyone who gets a Member of Congress or a challenger to sign the agreement -- $1,000 for the signature obtained by each Member of Congress’ signature, and $250 for all other FEC qualified candidates. All those who are interested in joining the Sunlight Network’s efforts should visit www.punchclockcampaign.org and download a copy of the agreement to present to those running for Congress in their districts.

So far, over fifty candidates for Congress, nationwide, have signed the agreement, and have committed to making their official schedules available to the public on their websites as members of the next Congress.

The Sunlight Network, a 501 c(4), was founded in 2006 to foster a more positive relationship between lawmakers and their constituents, using technology, transparency, and local communities.

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