August 31, 2006

porkbusted.pngHERE’S MORE ON THE “SECRET HOLD” EXPOSURE, from The Hotline:

Stevens’ admission “offered a glimpse into the increasing role that online pundits play in U.S. policymaking.” It came a day after Senate Maj. Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) “posted a Web entry asking colleagues to cooperate with bloggers who were trying to identify who was using the legislative maneuver to stall a vote.”

The measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), “has bipartisan support” and has been “championed for months by bloggers who, regardless of their political persuasion, advocate for more information to be available through the Internet.” RedState.com’s Erick Erickson: “The left can very easily find out which earmarks Halliburton is involved with, and the right can find out which earmarks Planned Parenthood is involved with.” Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor: “When you have InstaPundit and RedState, some of the most influential conservative bloggers, working with (left-leaning) DailyKos, that’s sort of a powerful grassroots alliance” (Talev, McClatchy Newspapers, 8/31).

CNN’s Koppel: “This political-who-done-it captivated bloggers for days and brought together an unusual alliance on both sides of the aisle. …

Let’s hope it’s just a beginning, and not a one-off.

UPDATE: Here’s more on the Byrd secret-hold story.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Byrd admits it!

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd admits that he placed a “secret hold” on legislation that would make uncovering the Byzantine world of federal contracting as easy as typing a Google search.

Tom Gavin, spokesperson for Byrd, confirmed to Cox Newspapers that the senator placed the hold on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., before voting on the measure.

Byrd joins Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, for holding up the bill right before Congress left town on August 4. . . .

Byrd has released his hold, now that there “has been time to better understand the legislation,” Gavin said.

Excellent news. And TPM Muckraker has more.

MORE: Bill Frist makes a commitment: “In September, I will bring S. 2590 to the floor of the Senate for the vote it deserves.”