Sen. wants online database of spending for OK

Modeled on the federal program, senator wants to spotlight bad spending, Democratic Gov. likes the idea too.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says Oklahoma needs an online database to track government spending on contracts and grants, AP reports. The state database would be modeled on the one that's currently being set up for the federal government.

"It's going to give politicians a reason to pause and say 'does this pass the smell test,'" said Coburn. Coburn said an examination of defense contracts showed that $11 billion went to non-defense projects doled out to "friends" of Congress members. "That's got to stop," he said.

Republicans like the idea because it provides brakes on spending. Democrats like the idea because it serves open government goals.

Paul Sund, spokesman for Democratic Gov. Brad Henry, said the governor feels the proposed online database "is a great concept at the federal level and we think the state Legislature should explore it at the state level as well."

There's no shortage of dubious spending in Oklahoma. Anti-spending advocates put out a booklet called the Piglet Book that publicizes such abuses as a $1.2 million grant in special project funds to a foundation. Most of that money - $800,000 - went to a for-profit dog food company.