Sunrise (4/1/11)

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SAVE THE DATA

Sunlight: “Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated. Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.”

Sign the letter and join our campaign to Save the Data here.

WHAT TRANSPARENCY?

WaPo Op-Ed: “The day after his inauguration, President Obama promised a new era of “openness in government.” … But the reality has not matched the president’s rhetoric. We, presidents of two of the nation’s largest journalism organizations, and many of our thousands of members, have found little openness since Obama took office. If anything, the administration has gone in the opposite direction: imposing restrictions on reporters’ newsgathering that exceed even the constraints put in place by President George W. Bush.”

OBAMA AIDES TO START INDEPENDENT GROUP

LAT: “As President Obama prepares to kick off his reelection campaign, two former key White House aides are likely to launch an independent political group in support of his bid, a direct response to the pent-up demand among Democrats for a vehicle to challenge the Republican network of well-funded allies. … The independent expenditure effort is being contemplated by Bill Burton, the former deputy press secretary, and Sean Sweeney, who served as the senior aide to former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Both left the White House this year. The organization is still in the planning stages, according to people familiar with the discussions, but is already being viewed by top Democratic fundraisers as the most promising effort to counter the independent political organizations that helped secure GOP victories in the 2010 midterm election.”

LEGALIZE IT LOBBY

SF Chronicle: “The $1.7 billion medical marijuana industry made its lobbying debut in Washington on Wednesday with its official trade association launching an effort for changes in federal tax law that would put medicinal purveyors on equal footing with fully legitimate businesses. … From an underground movement to a legal business in California, 14 other states and Washington, D.C., medical marijuana is emerging as a full-fledged commercial sector with sales that might soon rival those of Viagra, advocates said. … “We simply feel that our industry should be treated like any other legitimate industry,” said Aaron Smith, director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He spoke at a news conference kicking off the association’s first day of lobbying, which included meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”

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