Collected by Policy Intern Jacob Hutt.
Here is Monday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- House Democrats accused Eric Cantor of having a conflict of interest in the debt ceiling negotiations, as he has investments that might rise in value if the government defaults on its debts. (Huffington Post)
- A recent study found that the investments of Members of Congress significantly outperform the market, in part due to their access to nonpublic information that can positively affect their trading prospects. (The New York Times)
- Elizabeth Warren, head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has made her meeting schedule available online.
- Opinion: In order to ensure transparency, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand should provide a greater distinction between her website advocating for women’s participation in politics and her personal 2012 re-election campaign. (Buffalo News)
- First Street published an exhaustive list of revolving door lobbyists involved in the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. (First Street)
- President Obama’s former communications director Anita Dunn is now managing the food and media industry’s campaign against the president’s anti-childhood obesity efforts. (National Journal)
- The Sensible Food Policy Coalition, an anti-regulation group of corporations, has lobbied four federal agencies against voluntary standards that the government sets for child nutrition. (The Washington Post)
- The Dalai Lama is a rare example of a revered lobbyist, as he has lobbied Congress and the American public on Tibet’s behalf for years. (POGO)
- The House Ethics committee announced that it will be reviewing a possible ethics violation by Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-TX) Chief of Staff. The committee frequently does not publicly announce these reviewals. (Chron)
Access to Information
- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe declared that access to the Internet is a fundamental human right. (Yahoo News)
- Opinion: States should increase public access to information by putting it online and eliminating unnecessary costs of access. (Herald Dispatch)
State and Local
- The South Dakota Secretary of State is seeking greater public accessibility to lobbyist information. (Argus Leader)
- Analysis of campaign donation data in Arizona shows that the largest source of campaign contributions in 2010 was individual donations, rather than corporation contributions. (Arizona Republic)
- Opinion: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam should rescind his January order that eased income disclosure requirements for politicians for the sake of state transparency. (The Tennessean)
- Opinion: the Punjab government should speedily enact the draft Punjab Freedom of Information bill to ensure the right to information in Pakistan. (Dawn)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/11-7/15:
- Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Review. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. TARP, Financial Services, and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs Subcommittee hearing. Wednesday. 9:30 am. 2154 RHOB.
- Commerce-Justice-Science/Legislative Branch Appropriations. Committee on Appropriations: Full committee markup. Wednesday. 10:00 am. 2359 RHOB.
- Federal Protective Service Reform. Committee on Homeland Security. Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee hearing. Wednesday. 10:00 am. 2141 RHOB.
- Consumer Financial Protection Efforts. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Full committee hearing. (Elizabeth Warren testifying) Thursday. 9:30 am. 2154 RHOB. And don’t forget to tune into our Sunlight Live, which will be covering this hearing!
- Internet Privacy. Committee on Energy and Commerce. Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee and Communications and Technology Subcommittee joint hearing. Thursday. 11:00 am. 2123 RHOB.
- Federal Management IT System. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform Subcommittee hearing. Thursday. 1:30 pm. 2247 RHOB.
- Office of Financial Research/Financial Stability Oversight Council. Committee on Financial Services. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Thursday. 2:00 pm. 2128 RHOB.
- Joint Tax Reform/Tax Treatment of Debt and Equity. House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee. Wednesday. 9:00 am. HVC-210, Capitol.
Relevant bills introduced:
Transparency events scheduled for 7/11-7/15:
- Event on “Report from the Front Line of Financial Reform.” The National Press Club Newsmaker Program. 10:00 am. The National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Murrow Room.
- Briefing on “The Economic Contribution of Fair Use to the U.S. Economy: 2011.” The Computer and Communications Industry Association. 12:30 pm. 345 Cannon House Office Building. RSVP requested: Maggie Clark, 202-783-0070
- Public Campaign film screening of Priceless. 5:00 pm. Capitol Visitors Center, Room CVC 268. East Capitol Street Northeast, Washington, D.C. 20515.
- Open Government Partnership: An International Discussion. U.S. Department of State. (Closed event.)
- Social Media for Government. July 12-15. The Melrose Hotel. 2430 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20037.
- Millennials Overview: Gadgets, Politics and Future Online Behavior. 7:30AM – 10:45AM. The City Club of Washington, Columbia Square Building 555 Thirteenth Street NW. Washington, D.C. 20004.
- How to Ignite, or Quash, a Revolution in 140 Characters or Less. 2:00-6:00 pm. New America Foundation, 1899 L Street NW Suite 400. Washington, DC 20036.