Cuomo Keeps Shining, Rasiej Wants More

cuomoshines nee  Cuomo Keeps Shining, Rasiej Wants MoreALBANY—Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is in Western New York today, unveiling today unveiled a souped-up version of his government accountability web site www.sunlightny.com.

Cuomo's release says the new version of the site contains interactive maps; links to the 2009-2010 state budget; all 10,036 member items in 2008-2009 state budget; bill jackets containing information from debates; and information available in Spanish.

Cuomo first unveiled the site in 2007; it was developed by Blair Horner, a longtime good-government advocate. The idea, however, came from the 2005 public advocate campaign of Andrew Rasiej. After he lost the race to Betsy Gotbaum, Rasiej joined the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C.

"Imitation is definitely the highest form of flattery, and it's clear that the attorney general is following the lead of the Sunlight Foundation in Washington in collecting data and putting it into the hands of the public," Rasiej said by phone as he clicked around the upgraded site. "It's a direct descendant of the Sunlight Foundation work in Washington, and therefore it would be terrific if the attorney general went further and made the raw data feeding the web site open and accessible to developers."

And as Liz notes, like many Andrew Cuomo initiatives, the timing is impeccable, politically.