CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) – Sarah Palin likes to tell voters around the country about how she “put the government checkbook online” in Alaska. On Thursday, Palin suggested she would take that same proposal to Washington.
“We’re going to do a few new things also,” she said at a rally in Cedar Rapids. “For instance, as Alaska’s governor, I put the government’s checkbook online so that people can see where their money’s going. We’ll bring that kind of transparency, that responsibility, and accountability back. We’re going to bring that back to D.C.”
There’s just one problem with proposing to put the federal checkbook online – somebody’s already done it. His name is Barack Obama.
In 2006 and 2007, Obama teamed up with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to pass the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, also known as “Google for Government.” The act created a free, searchable web site – USASpending.gov - that discloses to the public all federal grants, contracts, loans and insurance payments.
In June of this year, Obama and Coburn introduced new Senate legislation to expand the information available online to include details on earmarks, competitive bidding, criminal activities, audit disputes and other government information.
Palin might also have noted that her running mate, John McCain, was an original co-sponsor of the 2006 transparency bill that became law.
UPDATE: A campaign spokesperson insisted that Palin was referring not to that specific proposal, but rather to "that kind of transparency in general."