Inside the Meter

Two more changes to our database

As we check the status of President Barack Obama's campaign promises, we continue to find a few in our Obameter database that are no longer relevant because they were fulfilled before Obama became president.

That's the case with No. 302, creating loan-forgiveness programs for law students who become public defenders, and for No. 210, on corruption reports from the State Department.

The loan forgiveness program was created by Congress in 2008. It was dubbed the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Program and received $10 million to help qualified students who become public defenders or prosecutors pay off their law school debt, up to $60,000. The original measure was sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and signed by President George W. Bush.

The program was funded again in the omnibus spending bill that Congress passed -– and President Obama signed -– in mid December. Support for the program has been bipartisan, and funding it again this year was a priority for groups such as the American Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Because it was fulfilled under President Bush, we're removing it from our database.

The same is true for No. 210, adding corruption to the list of annual human rights reports from the State Department.

The most recent set of reports, for 2008, came a few weeks after the Obama administration took office, so they mostly reflected research done during the Bush administration. Yet these reports, as well as those from 2007, discuss corruption at some length, in a variety of countries.

In fact, an appendix included in both years' series explaining how the reports were put together cites a subsection called "Government Corruption and Transparency," which "covers allegations of corruption in the executive or legislative branches of government and actions taken to combat it."

Since corruption was already considered an integral part of the country reports, we are removing this promise from our database.