Earmarks -- the pork barrel spending our elected officials dump into various bills to fund friendly projects for constituents -- got plenty of attention during last year's Presidential campaign, but since the campaign is over, it seems that many have forgotten about them. The House and Senate did recently update rules, requiring members to reveal earmark requests, but they've done so in different ways and different formats, and there's no central repository. WashingtonWatch is trying to change that. The site, which has long been a useful source of information on various bills is trying to crowdsource a centralized earmark dataset
, asking folks to enter in the earmark data on their own politicians. They're offering up some prizes (a Kindle, iPod shuffle or a fruitcake -- yes, a fruitcake) to those who enter in the most (accurate) data. If you think the Kindle is evil
, fear not, as you can just get the cash value and spend it all on fruitcakes yourself.