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Former Oklahoma Senator Continues Fight Against Wasteful Spending

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Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said his goal is to give the citizen army more access to information than ever before. Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said his goal is to give the citizen army more access to information than ever before.
Open The Books covers all government spending. Open The Books covers all government spending.
American Transparency is a group funding a project that puts government spending on-line, in real time. American Transparency is a group funding a project that puts government spending on-line, in real time.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Presidential candidates can't run too far away from Washington these days. In fact, no political experience at all is considered a plus.

But former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said they're all missing the big picture. He said a power shift has already happened and said he's doing all he can to fan the flames.

Coburn made his name in Washington calling out his colleagues for spending he considered, “Stupid, or what I would consider stupid - or at least poor judgment.”

Now he's out of office, but by no means giving up the fight.

Instead, he's reaching out to the legions of outraged taxpayers who rallied to his side in the fight against entitlements and deficit spending.

His goal is to give that citizen army more access to information than ever before.

“Transparency creates information. Information creates knowledge. Knowledge creates action,” Coburn said.

He's honorary chairman of American Transparency, a group funding a project that puts government spending on-line, in real time.

And we're not just talking about big institutions; Open The Books covers all government spending.

Coburn: “One of my best friends is a farmer. So I showed him everything he'd gotten from the federal government in the last 10 years and he couldn't believe it.”
Terr: “Did he like that?”
Coburn: “Well, not particularly. But the point is that it’s our tax money going to individual citizens. Why shouldn't we know about it?”

The group recently launched an app to make the site even more accessible, and they're already digging up waste - such as $200 million worth of small business loans going to private country clubs across the country.

“Do we really want golf clubs getting SBA loans,” he asked. “Is that really a role for the federal government?”

And now that anyone with a computer or cell phone can check up on government spending, Coburn hopes there is lots more citizen outrage ahead.

“We've got to beat down the political establishments of both parties, and we gotta say you've got to answer questions for us. We're the ones footing the bill,” he said.

If you want to download the app, it’s free. Just look for Open The Books in your app store.

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