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After years of dogging government, Malamud wants to be Public Printer

Carl Malamud is going to Washington.

But the bigger question is, will he move there?

Malamud, a Sebastopol resident, is an Internet maverick who for two decades has dogged the government to be more transparent by putting its public documents online.

In the mid 1990s, he pushed the Securities and Exchange Commission to put all corporate filings online.

More recently, Malamud began posting millions of court documents online for free ? something the government would have charged an individual about $1.6 million to access.

Now, after nearly 20 years as a nagging political outsider, Malamud wants in.

He is campaigning to be appointed Public Printer of the United States. It is a Washington position that would afford him the power to quickly push through many of the ideas he has arduously battled for ? in particular making public government data available free online.

He?s spent the past two weeks collecting endorsements, which range from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to noted Internet advocate Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford professor. He launched his campaign on Feb. 24 on his site www.YesWeScan.org.

Now he is taking his endorsements to the U.S. political mecca, where he hopes to make a case for his appointment.

?I bought a plane ticket and I?m going to Washington,? Malamud said from his office in Sebastopol.

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