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E-M:/ Money, Politics and the Great Lakes Environment


MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism has applied for a slice of a $5 million pie that the Knight Foundation carves up each year for experiments in new media.  Our proposal would quickly link state campaign contributions, state lawmaker votes and bill analysis in Michigan and possibly other Great Lakes states.  Some of this work is done on the federal level (see maplight.org) but very little is done on state or regional levels - where the action really is.
Our proposal encompasses all issues but has an extra focus on the environment. We'll take the environmental data, analyze it and issue public reports. If the multi-state proposal is funded, we can begin to aggregate regional political activity. So instead of looking at the politics behind energy or water use in a particular state, we'd take a broad look at the region. The idea is that while states set their own policy and regulations, those decisions have regional impacts that may be at odds. States have borders, environmental issues don't.
Of course the tools and reports we develop are open for the use by any watchdog group.
You can read our proposal, rate it and provide comments here: http://tinyurl.com/6p3rjd
The competition for these funds is intense. It's unclear how significant outside comments weigh in the judges' decisions. But they must count for something. If this idea appeals to you, we appreciate your support with high ratings and positive comments. The submission deadline is Nov. 1. It's unclear if comments can be submitted any later.



David Poulson
Associate Director
Knight Center for Environmental Journalism
Michigan State University
517 432 5417