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You Be the Auditor

Just when you think there's no such thing as government accountability anymore, along comes a nifty web tool that lets Virginians play auditor on every little expenditure the state makes, and I mean every last one. You can now track your state government's actions in remarkable detail
right down to the governor spending $67.65 at University Florist on May 15, 2003.
Like many other such goo-goo tools, this one may be more attractive in theory than in reality; not that many of us have the time to go rooting through each fund that the sprawling state government has. But if some particular office of government ticks you off, you now have the wherewithal to check up on them. This is a delightful little tool, for reporters and for citizens generally.
The project, Commonwealth Data Point, doesn't restrict itself to state spending--you can also find a census of prisoners held in Virginia, school, income, workforce and driver's license stats, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Let your inner geek go wild.

By Marc Fisher |  January 13, 2006; 7:38 AM ET
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Its a shame METRO doesn't have something like this so that we the taxpayers and farepayers could really review that sweetheart severance deal the METRO Board just doled out to the ex-General Manager? Over $100,000 a year for life for a 50 something year old man???? That's our money.

Posted by: s | January 13, 2006 9:40 AM

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Your column “Murder on the Next Block Over” is sickening. It presented a classic example of why America still experiences ideological and political divides along racial lines. Simply stated, your article smacked of racism and bigotry in the classic sense. I shook my head in disbelief in reading it. I could not believe your editor, Mr. Bob McCartney would allow something like this to be put in print. It is offensive and ridiculous. I guess hence your moniker “Raw Fisher”. This however isn’t “raw” this is “sewage”. Tragic and hurtful, Mr. Rosenbaum’s death. Sadder still, your reaction. While police went about doing their jobs, and D.C. ambulance personnel and HU hospital physicians tried to save Mr. Rosenbaum’s life! Your choice was to write this column. Coincidence, these two entities were largely African-American? The article impugned the reputation of a historically African-American teaching hospital, reminiscent of days gone by with raising issues that sparked the Civil Rights movement forty years ago. Issues, of racial segregation and bias. I suggest an apology is owed all for this unnecessary sad manipulation while someone’s loved one, neighbor and colleague lay dying. COLUMN MOST FOUL!

Posted by: Clevand Park Resident | January 13, 2006 1:12 PM

This is VA...all we need is one retired wonk from the GAO or OMB looking for something to do, and you have an unpaid Inspector General! And there are probably dozens of people who fit that description.

And here's hoping that Richard White gets hit by a bus...sooner rather than later.

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | January 13, 2006 1:53 PM

Thanks for the daring to write the articles you do - I think you put in print what a lot of people are thinking but are a little too timid to come out and say.

I didn't realize that when you said something to the effect that taking Rosenbaum to Sibly since it was closer than Howard, that you were being racist in your comment. Seemed like common sense to me.

Keep up the good work, I think too many people in the world are used to being coddled and expressing outrage anytime anything is said/done that goes against their own little personal belief structure. We all need challenges to those beliefs - how else can we be assured that we believe them if not one is there to challenge us on it? Agreeing to disaggree is one of those things that has made this country great. I hope you get under more peoples skin and let them see that there are other points of view out there, whether they chose to believe them or not.

Posted by: k | January 13, 2006 2:37 PM

Why be timid? Back in the day you were bold and wore "white hoods"! There is a name for what "we all think but are too timid to say". It's called "RACISM 101". As space would not allow earlier, physicians of color are evaluated and governed by the same standards white physicians are. The record will note that there are plenty of "white" physicians that have Howard Medical School degrees hanging on their walls. Do you hold them as well to the same racist standards as Mr. Fisher held the medical personnel who attended Mr. Rosenbaum? If you all think this way, you should "ALL" be shamed.

Posted by: Cleveland Park Resident | January 13, 2006 5:42 PM

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