Information, Please. Watchdog Groups, Some Lawmakers Say Congressional Reports Should Be Made Public, By Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post, February 19, 2007; A17. [Another copy here]
For years, open-government groups have fought to make the [Congressional Research Service] reports public, and for years, many lawmakers have kept them under wraps. Or so they thought.
By insisting on secrecy, Congress instead created a bootleg market for the research. Every day, a small Texas company compiles the reports and sells them to lobbyists, lawyers and others who pay thousands of dollars for a peek at the reports and what they say about the congressional agenda. And it’s all legal.
“How I get them is my trade secret . . . but I get them all,” said Walt Seager, who digs up the reports for Gallery Watch, a legislative tracking service….
Subscribers to Gallery Watch pay about $4,000 a year to get all the CRS reports, online and searchable, delivered weekly.
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