January 6th, 2009
05:36 PM ET

Victory for our summer interns

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/11/congress.auto.bailout/art.capitolday.gi.jpg]

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

Well they aren't summer interns anymore. Actually most of them are probably working real jobs, but their work two years ago for CNN's investigative team has finally brought the entire congressional earmark process into the wide-open.

In the summer of 2007, we assembled a team of interns to ask every member of Congress to disclose their pork barrel requests, known as earmarks. The requests in the past have been done in complete secrecy. Most of us found out about pork barrel spending only after it was included in budget bills.

We upset a lot of politicians with that survey. Most members of Congress never even bothered to call us back. But a few did and thought it was a good idea for us to post their requests online.

Now they will all have to do it....because the two people in charge of doling out the money, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Rep. David Obey (D-WI) have issued new rules today...you can read them here. Basically, if you want the peoples money, you better tell the people what for and why, online and in advance.

I can't help but think our summer interns have brought a little summer sunlight to the dark world of congressional spending.

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Raw Politics
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jana, Indiana


    You did a great job reporting this story and your interns must be very proud of their hard work as well.

    Keep up with the great investigative reporting

    January 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  2. Neil

    Fantastic work CNN, great to see that journalism still can get through all that red tape.

    January 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Annie Kate


    Thanks to you and your interns for bringing the earmarks out into the open. Maybe now that they have to publish what the earmark they are going to ask for is and how much and why they are asking we will see a real decline in pork barrel spending. Isn't it nice to know you and your interns made a real difference in our government!!

    January 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  4. EJ (USA)

    earmarks this, earmarks that

    January 6, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  5. Larry

    I thought Sen. McCain 'promised' that he would expose every earmark. Where is his promise?
    I know that Glenn Beck did some for Barney Frank regarding Bank of America as well as Fannie & Freddie (who were aslo kind to the POTUS-elect.

    January 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  6. Marcy

    Amen Drew it was a wonderful piece of journalism and all that worked on it should be proud!

    Good job!
    Mobile, AL

    January 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm |