The Day in Transparency 3/30/2011


Here is Wednesday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

  • Sprint has made it clear that its lobbyists plan to actively lobby against the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, but has not indicated how it will counteract AT&T’s extensive lobbying network. (Roll Call $)
  • South Dakota has just passed a law allowing corporations to make contributions to political action committees. (Lobby Comply)
  • The Republican Congressional Committee plans to raise $10 million at their annual fundraiser on Wednesday, led this year by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. (Politico)
  • Ethics experts say the indictment of former Senate staffer Doug Hampton will remind staffers that lobbying laws have strict penalties. (Roll Call $)
  • Information discovered through emails and testimony from a Department of Homeland Security officer indicates that a DHS Confidential Assistant attorney repeatedly asked for portions of FOIA documents to be redacted. (Daily Caller)
  • Homeland Security’s Inspector General concluded that it was wasteful for political appointees to review FOIA documents prior to release. (Associated Press)
  • House Natural Resources Chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), and his staff discussed three offshore drilling measures in person to avoid exchanging emails that could potentially be leaked. (Politico)
  • Democrats have identified the required ten legislators to serve on House Ethics investigative committees. Republicans still have to identify ten legislators before the investigations into Reps. Waters (D-CA) and Massa (D-NY), started in the 111th Congress, can be completed. (Roll Call $)
  • The House Oversight Committee rejected a request from Democrats to have Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) testify at a hearing on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. (The Hill)
  • As Sunlight has previously noted, the spending bill approved by the House would cut funding for open government websites. (Next Gov)
  • The D.C. Council is considering two bills related to increasing transparency in government. One requires reporting contract information online and the other expands the Open Government Office, improves budget transparency, and improves the city’s FOIA. (Lobby Comply)
  • President Obama released a video asking federal workers to submit their ideas for government reorganization and reform ideas. (Government Executive)
  • The conclusions of Federal agency reviews of struggling information technology projects are due this Thursday. (Federal Times)
  • Conservative Senators are planning to filibuster legislation that would increase the national debt ceiling to over $14.3 trillion. (The Hill)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 3/30:


  • None scheduled.


  • Judiciary. An oversight hearing to examine the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 10:00am. Senate Dirksen Building #226.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 3/30: