Sunlight Blogger Round-up: One-year Lobbying Ban Established


The trend in this collection of blog posts reveals that a number of citizen activists are making progress in their efforts to promote transparency.  What is most striking however is the fact that it is not just citizens demanding accountability from government but rather an improvement in  initiatives from public officials to enhance openness. For an insight on what is happening in the world of transparency at the local and state level, find out how a new ban on lobbying is going to affect Florida while Nevada publishes its check book in a move to be more open.

  • The governor elect for the state of Florida, Rick Scott, has created a one-year lobbying ban on all members of his transition team. The ban will also prohibit members from lobbying on behalf of any state entity for a year after leaving the team. See how Dara Kam of the Post on Politics explains other changes in Florida’s open government.
  • If anything enhances democracy, it is voters and not money. Get inspired by Charley Williams, the president of the League of Women Voters of Orange County California, as he advocates for the DISCLOSE Act’s requirement of campaign finance disclosure by special interests. Williams warns that lack of disclosure could lead to low voter enthusiasm and calls for restoration of transparency in campaign advertising. More on the Seaside Post.
  • While discussing redistricting and how it affects voting, Sophie Lehman introduces District Builder –  a new free open-source web-based software that purports to reduce political control by redistricting authorities and increase public participation and transparency during electoral redistricting. She also compares two reform measures, one from the Citizens Redistricting Commission in California and the other brought on by Constitutional Amendments in Florida, which collectively will restrict political gerrymandering. Read how voters are being given the power to chose their legislatures on the Nonprofit Vote.
  • Check out Steven Allen Adam’s post as he makes the case for earmarks, suggesting that if it was not for them, the state of West Virginia would not have the infrastructure it has now. Indeed, Adam argues that they are an important tool that can be used for good. He illustrates how the state has benefited from earmarks on the West Virginia Watchdog.
  • Nevada’s next State Assembly speaker John Oceguera is a making a plea for openness by putting the state’s check book online. Victor Joecks of Write on Nevada makes the case for a concerted effort in encouraging openness.