2Day in #OpenGov 6/3/2011

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Finishing up a short post-Memorial Day week, here is Friday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

Lobbying

  • Congressional Republicans and the bank lobby are attacking White House advisor Elizabeth Warren, trying to weaken the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (The Nation)
Revolving Door
  • Free Press sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking the four commissioners to pledge not to seek employment with either AT&T or T-Mobile, whose merger is currently under review at the FCC. (Free Press)
  • According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker followed ethics rules while negotiating for a new job with Comcast/NBCUniversal. (National Journal)
Campaign Finance
  • While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce heavily opposes the draft executive order requiring contractors to disclose political donations, many of the companies associated with the Chamber support transparency and already disclose their donations voluntarily. (Talking Points Memo)
  • John Edwards has been indicted for covering up an extramarital affair in violation of campaign finance laws. (National Journal)
  • The FEC has dropped a complaint filed by the Delaware Republican Party against Christine O’Donnell, (Politico) but the FBI is continuing an unrelated probe into her campaign spending. (Roll Call $)
Access to Information
  • The National Archives just hired its first “Wikipedian in Residence” to expand its audience. (Washington Post)
  • The ACLU is attempting to discover the truth behind the “secret” Patriot Act using a FOIA request. (Network World)
  • Opinion: Dennis Kaiser writes that the Anthony Weiner scandal is another example of Corporate Media Propagandists (CMP) “efforts to hide information and/or actions of those holding key positions within our government and demonizing those who attempt to do the right thing.” (OpEd News)
Government
  • Departing Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says government needs to overcome its fear of establishing clear program evaluation metrics. (GovExec)
  • Kathryn Ruemmler will replace Bob Bauer as White House Counsel. (White House)
  • The use of snail mail is still on the rise within the federal government. (Washington Post)
State and Local
  • Tennessee has passed a bill allowing corporations to contribute to political candidates. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • The New York legislature is finalizing an ethics bill that would create a Joint Committee on Public Ethics to increase transparency and disclosure within both the executive and legislative branches. (Times Union)
  • Civic Commons has taken a step forward towards helping city governments improve their use of information technology with a new management team and $250,000 in funding from the Omidyar Network. (O’Reilly Radar)
International
  • New Brunswick has proposed plans for regulating the lobbying industry, including registration and reporting requirements. (CBC News)
  • The state of Orissa in India just launched a website using information technology to publish all information related to the steel and mining industry in an attempt to increase transparency. This website is the first of its kind in the country. (Economic Times)
  • Opinion: Caelainn Barr writes that “At a time when public confidence has been dented by lobbying and revolving door scandals in Parliament and the Commission, only vastly improved transparency will give citizens the assurances they need about EU expenditure.” (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 6/3:

House

  • Restoring Competition and Neutrality to Government Construction Projects. Oversight and Government Reform. Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform. 2154 RHOB. 9:30am.

Senate

  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R. 2081. A bill to amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to replace the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; to the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H.R. 2093. A bill to establish the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission to investigate the policies and practices engaged in by officers and directors at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responsible for making the decisions that led to the enterprises’ financial instability and the subsequent Federal conservatorship of such enterprises; to the Committee on Financial Services.

Transparency events scheduled for 6/3:

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