In their latest attempt to make Maine government more transparent (see MaineVotes.org), the Maine Heritage Policy Center has launched MaineOpenGov.org, a new website that tracks state spending (more info about the site can be learned here.)
I haven't spent a lot of time browsing the site, but I've already found a useful feature: The site's ability to track vendor payments from the State of Maine to inviduals, businesses, or contractors by city.
So whether you want to learn about the $81 the Maine Department of Environmental Protection paid A-1 Lockbox Inc. (963 Main Street) for miscellaneus repairs in 2007 or about the $1.2 million payment by the Maine Department of Transportation to HNTB (2 Thomas Drive) for consultation services in 2006, this site is for you.
Be prepared for many minutes of virtual combing, though. According to the site, Westbrook-based individuals, businesses, and contractors have netted $11.5 million from Augusta since 2006.
- John C.L. Morgan