2Day in #OpenGov 7/5/11

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Here is Tuesday’s look at the (shortened) week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

Government

  • The Project on Government Oversight released an open letter to President Obama and Congress on protection for federal whistleblowers and greater governmental accountability. (POGO)

Revolving Door

  • Goldmann Sachs has expanded its D.C. lobbying efforts, led by a well-connected former congressional staffer. (LA Times)
  • New powerful lobbyists emerging in Ohio have strong connections to the GOP. (The Plain Dealer)

Lobbying

  • Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gadhafi hired K Street’s highest paid lobbying ¬†firm to lobby for their acceptance as the “legitimate government of the sovereign nation of Libya.” (The Hill)
  • Google has hired twelve new lobbying firms in the face of the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust probe against it. (Reuters)
  • New Jersey has spent over $130,000 lobbying Congress on behalf of the NJ Transit. (North Jersey)
  • Opinion: The recent swipe fee debate “offers a cautionary tale of government-by-lobbyist.” (Forbes)

Campaign Finance

  • The Federal Election Commission fined Koch Inc. for making twelve illegal campaign contributions from a foreign subsidiary’s treasury, after corporation voluntarily reported these illegal expenditures to the F.E.C. (iWatch News)
  • Key points to watch for in President Obama’s fundraising for the 2012 election, on The Fix. (The Washington Post)
  • President Obama and the First Lady have combined for 45 fundraisers since the president launched his reelection campaign. (iWatch News)
  • Super PACs could define the 2012 election as a new force in the campaign finance world (The Washington Post)

Ethics

  • Opinion: the Illinois lieutenant governor calls for personal financial disclosures by elected officials to aide transparency and combat corruption. (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Opinion: Legislators engaging in public corruption must face tangible consequences. (Gainesville Times)

Access to Information

  • The World Bank announced plans to open its highly coveted data to the public, hoping to foster competition and innovation in its mission of reducing poverty. (Herald Tribune)

State and Local

  • Facebook has expanded its influence in California state government, spending huge amounts on lobbying and campaigns. (The Sacramento Bee)
  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Perry may keep his travel records secret, dismissing claims that his travel vouchers are public. (Digital Journal)
  • Philadelphia’s new lobbyist registration law will bring more transparency to the influence on government, but a last minute delay by legislators has stalled its implementation. (Philly)
  • Illinois legislators are poised to pass a bill that would add fees to filing FOIA requests and would allow the government unlimited time in responding to “recurrent requestors.” (Elmhurst Patch)
  • Opinion: Ohio budget was in part determined by Governor Kasich’s ties to lobbyists. (Plunder Bund and The Plain Dealer)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/5-7/8:

Senate

  • None.

House

  • Federal Government Spectrum Use. Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Wednesday. 2:00 pm. 2123 Rayburn HOB.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 7/5-7/8:

Tuesday

  • Tyler Cowen: The Great Stagnation. Politics & Prose. 7:00 pm. 5015 Connecticut Ave NW. Washington D.C.
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