If nursing hasn’t exactly been on your radar, then National Nurses Week 2013 is the time to take notice. To celebrate the hard work that nurses across the country have invested in keeping our citizens healthy, we want to show how some of our tools can be helpful to keep track of policy issues which affect our nation’s caretakers.
One of the things I love about TransparencyCamp is that it is a large essentially unscheduled event. You can't plan what's going to happen when you have over 500 people and just a loose schedule of events over 2 days. The branding has to be loud enough to guide people though the unconference format in an unfamiliar space and convey a sense of excitement and energy. The implementation has to be flexible and allow for things to change, like a picnic session in the park, or food trucks for lunch parking in unexpected locations.
Over at Bloomberg View, columnist Ezra Klein yesterday decided to throw some cold water on the small donor solution favored by many campaign finance reformers. His argument: complain as you like about the power of big corporate donors. Small donors might be worse. They are highly partisan!
Klein gets his spark of insight from a remark by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). On Monday, the senator offered a fundraising confessional at a Yale University conference on money, politics and inequality. “When I send out a fundraising e-mail talking about how bad Republicans are, I raise three times as much as when I send out an e-mail talking about how good I am,” Murphy said. “People are motivated to give based on their fear of the other side rather than on their belief in their side.” (I was also at this conference, as a panelist).
From this observation, Klein then slips into a two-sizes-fits-all approach to campaign funding: There is big money, and there is small money.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.
Laci Videmsky (“lah-tsi” not “lay-see”) is the Project Director for the New California Water Atlas. He is also Co-founder of Nerds for Nature a group that promotes citizen science and civic engagement. When not building things on the internet, he is likely with his kids looking for magical waves to surf.
After a long day of participating in a Code of Oakland hackathon last year geared toward addressing the multitude of issues facing our city, many of us participants gathered at a local restaurant to debrief, talk shop, and unwind. We are programmers, data nerds, product designers and policy wonks. We are passionate about exploring the potential of information age resources to reshape our communities and the governing bodies that serve them. There have been some exciting success stories with projects that we have prototyped and many more epic failures. We adventure onward.
We found a varied landscape when we explored what cities include in releases of lobbying data and how they release it, but one thing is clear: Disclosing and contextualizing lobbying data can have a high impact on a community. Journalists and other watchdogs who dig into municipal lobbying information have unearthed a wide range of stories illustrating the relationships between money, access to power, and the decisions made by those who have power. Raw lobbying information alone doesn't necessarily make for an insightful story about the world of political influence, but it's a key data set that is essential to revealing these kinds of narratives.
This is especially clear in Philadelphia, where information from the city's lobbying registrations and quarterly reports have been pulled into a searchable, sortable database called Lobbying.ph. Casey Thomas, a Philadelphia developer, was part of the team that created Lobbying.ph at a local hackathon in February 2012, and he expanded on it before joining AxisPhilly, a non-profit news organization, later that year. AxisPhilly now houses and maintains the project.
- President Obama issued an Executive Order calling for agencies to make internal lists of their data, share a list publicly of the data that is public, and consider what else might be made public. Obama said the move would help spark private-sector innovation. (Fedscoop, FCW, The Hill, Washington Post, Wired)
- The Campaign Legal Center and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the FEC about individuals who allegedly exceeded campaign contribution limits. (Roll Call)
Today, the White House is issuing a new Executive Order on Open Data -- one that is significantly different from the open data policies that have come before it -- reflecting Sunlight's persistent call for stronger public listings of agency data, and demonstrating a new path forward for governments committing to open data.
This Executive Order and the new policies that accompany it cover a lot of ground, building public reporting systems, adding new goals, creating new avenues for public participation, and laying out new principles for openness, much of which can be found in Sunlight's extensive Open Data Policy Guidelines, and the work of our friends and allies.
Most importantly, though, the new policies take on one of the most important, trickiest questions that these policies face -- how can we reset the default to openness when there is so much data? How can we take on managing and releasing all the government's data, or as much as possible, without negotiating over every dataset the government has?
- It's official, reported lobbying by firms dedicated to the task was down almost 4% during the first quarter of 2013. Overall, lobbying appears to be down slightly more than 1% over the fourth quarter of 2012. (Roll Call)
- There has always been a healthy traffic flow between high level Washington operatives and high paying jobs on Wall Street, but recently volume has picked up significantly. Major banks including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, and more are turning to Washington for talent, reversing a trend that often saw policy makers looking to Wall Street for economic understanding. (POLITICO)
- There is a progressive revolt being staged against Facebook. A number of liberal groups are upset with the way that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's political group, FWD.us, is approaching the immigration debate and are pulling their ads from Facebook to show their disapproval. (Tech President)
As the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday begins readying a sweeping bipartisan immigration bill for floor action, it's worth remembering why the issue stirs up such heated emotions in the U.S. Congress. A look at some of the landmark legislation enacted over the past century shows that the nation has spent much of its history arguing over who should be allowed to become an American.
The real immigration fight is now about to begin.
As the Senate Judiciary Committee begins working on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, we still think the best field guide to the fight about to erupt over the 844-page bill remains our March 25 analysis, entitled “Untangling the webs of immigration lobbying" Here is the network analysis we produced back then (click for the interactive version):
Click here for our interactive network guide to the most active interests, what issues they care about, and how intensely they are lobbying