Things are looking up in Congress

The Porkbusters database just went online. From now on, all Congressional spending will be listed in a searchable database. No more hidden earmarks once this gets up and running. Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma and an obstetrician, got this through last year with the help of Senator Barak Obama. Coburn is a “gadfly”, which means he puts the public first and exposes corruption. His Senate colleagues have attempted crude retribution by trying to prevent him from practicing medicine during recesses. That they would consider his care of his longtime patients the equivalent of their $10,000 speeches to lobby groups tells you more about their ethics than his. He could not have prevailed without the Porkbusters organization, which flooded the offices of Senators trying to kill the bill with thousands of phone calls. Frankly, I had despaired of any real reform but maybe I was too pessimistic.

Now, why isn’t Coburn a candidate for President ? Obama is.

3 Responses to “Things are looking up in Congress”

  1. allan says:

    I had a piece on Coburn copied and ready to paste somewhere yesterday, but never found a suitable location. And here you go the next day featuring him. As much as I rant and wail against pols and lawyers, if even one-half of them had the perspective of Coburn, I’d cease and desist. Which would make my relatives and co-workers much happier. Can’t believe his peers haven’t yet overturned the rules that allow him to hold at bay all their pork rife bills. And I must commend his constituents in OK who have voted him back in office for the second time after he was termed out of his prior term.

    This is the kind of legislator that I think most ‘normal’ voters are wishing for when they look at the way Ron Paul flails against the party machines. But since Coburn isn’t on the candidate list, Paul’s the lightning rod. Unfortunate, but better than more of the same. One of these election days, my wish is to vote FOR someone like Coburn, instead of against the lesser of two choices, as I’ve been led to do in the last handful of presidential elections.

  2. Nancy says:

    Coburn has made some strange remarks about gay people, which would probably hold him back in a presidential run. There’s a good summary here.

  3. Nancy says:

    It’s an old enough story that it’s hard to find original news articles, but this page quotes an AP story from CNN, (page no longer available) thusly:

    //In the tape released by the campaign of Brad Carson, the Democratic candidate, Coburn says a campaign worker from Coalgate told him that “lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that’s happened to us?”//

    And I’ve found some other pages that’s quoted him about a “gay agenda.” I’m withholding judgment, but stuff like this will hamstring any presidential aspirations, which is too bad because I like what he’s doing.