Flathead Beacon: Montana’s congressional delegation first to post schedules online

HELENA (AP) — Montana’s congressional delegation has become the first in the nation to post their schedules on the Internet, earning praise from advocates of open government.

This week, U.S. Sen. Max Baucus started posting an online schedule detailing his meetings the prior day, following similar postings by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg. Tester was one of the first members of Congress to post his schedule on the Internet when he took office in January. Rehberg has been doing the same since June.

A government watchdog group that has been pushing all members of Congress to post their schedules says Montana is now leading the way on the issue.

“It’s a tribute to Senator Tester. He is a populist, and he seized on this idea early,” said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation.

The Washington, D.C.-based group has said the issue is about accountability, knowing who congressional representatives met with on a given day as opposed to obtaining schedules in advance.

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