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Judy Baar Topinka flatters For the Good of Illinois

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so you can imagine how flattered we are that Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is doing so much to advance transparency. When Adam Andrzejewski ran for governor on the tagline “every dime, on line, in real time,” it appears that some of Illinois pols were listening.

We’d like to congratulate the Comptroller for her transparency site, called “The Ledger.” It’s is a smattering of spending information designed to “deliver unprecedented access to Illinois records.” If you go over to the site, you can play with the State Contracts database, where you can find state vendors.

One of the best features is the originally named “Open Book,” (sound familiar?).

For the Good of Illinois launched the Open the Books portal last August. (See above) The Comptroller’s office launched Open Book earlier this year. (see below)

Comptroller 2012

This feature ties the political contributor database together with the contract database to give you the visual below – a side-by-side picture of potential pay-to-play politics.

I searched for the word “asphalt,” which yielded the image below.

This is a pretty cool feature. I recommend going to the site toplay around a while. You can find out just how many contractors give money to third party organizations that funnel the money to campaigns.

Other parts of The Ledger duplicate the work done at Illinois original Transparency Portal, which is a little bit more user friendly than The Ledger. The fact is that Illinois is getting better on transparency. It just needs to get better faster, so that every Illinois citizen can rapidly find every dime of Illinois spending.

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