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Shine a Light | The Nation

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The Notion

Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Shine a Light

Kudos to new Senator Jon Tester and Representative Kirsten Gillibrand. They've become the only two members of Congress to post their work schedules online. That doesn't sound like much. But in a place like Washington, where so many deals get done in secret, behind closed doors, letting everyone see what you're up to is a courageous act.

The idea was spearheaded by the Sunlight Foundation, an innovative new group in Washington run by veteran watchdoger Ellen Miller. Thanks to them, you can peruse the archives of Senator Tester's schedule here and Rep. Gillibrand's "Sunlight Report" here.

Both Tester and Gillibrand won elections in which ethics played a major role. They should be congratulated for sticking to their commitments. Hopefully the push for greater transparency will lead to farther-reaching reforms, like publicly financed elections.

I just got off the phone with Senator Tester and encouraged him to persuade his fellow Senators to follow his lead. Something tells me that in the world's most exclusive club, there won't be many eager volunteers.

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