Open Book

Kudos to Comptroller Dan Hynes, who yesterday unveiled Open Book, a new website to link campaign contributions and state contracts. The site combines the Comptroller's contract database and the State Board of Elections' campaign disclosure files, so that visitors can enter a name into one search box and find matches in both databases. What's more, Open Book searches campaign donations through both the donor field and the employer field, greatly reducing the number of steps involved.

Go play with it and see how easy it is.

The announcement got a great reception, with cheers from ICPR, the Better Government Association and the Sunshine Project, and stories in AP, the Tribune, GateHouse, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Champaign Urbana News-Gazette, and the Small Newspaper Group.

Plus, the Tribune and the Bloomington Pantagraph both renewed their calls for HB 1 this morning. Their timing is great.

Now what kind of timing does the state Senate have?