Here is Thursday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- President Obama and House Speaker Boehner have engaged in secretive dialogue to negotiate the debt-limit crisis, with Boehner’s recent meeting at the White House unpublished on his public schedule. (Yahoo News)
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa) criticized the hidden debt-limit negotiations for their lack of transparency. (National Journal)
- CIO Vivek Kundra appeared in a live video broadcoast to discuss wasteful federal government websites. (FCW)
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has clarified certain components of her OffTheSidelines.org website after being criticized for its use as a reelection fundraising tool. (Buffalo News)
- A senior SEC official has left the commission to head up a new organization connected to the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. (WSJ)
- Three San Diego lobbyists have left federally registered lobbyist positions to work as government aides for both Republicans and Democrats. (San Diego Reader)
- The American League of Lobbyists hired a new executive director, the former head of the National School Transportation Association. (The Hill)
- The powerful religious lobby is behind many political programs, but the church lobbying disclosure exemption restricts transparency. (OpenSecrets)
- TechDirt called for a response to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s intensive lobbying for passage of PROTECT IP. (TechDirt)
- Opinion: The American business lobby has corrupted democracy and has contributed to the rise of right-wing policy agendas nationwide. (Salon)
- Sunlight came out in support of a new bill in the House and Senate (see below) that would require companies to get shareholder authorization before making certain political expenditures. (Sunlight Blog)
- A report card was released on Rahm Emanuel’s IT efforts during his first thirty days as governor. (GovWin)
- GovFresh interviewed Get Satisfaction CEO Wendy Lea on how technology can be used to connect government with citizens. (Gov Fresh)
- Opinion: Files no longer have a place in the digital age. Data storage should take place fully on computer systems. (O’Reilly)
Access to Information
- A district court ruled on Monday that DHS and ICE could not withhold embarrassing documents requested through FOIA. (Center for Constitutional Rights)
State and Local
- The gun lobby wields significant influence in Arizona, supported by thousands of Arizonans and constantly present at the state legislature. (The Arizona Republic)
- Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation designed to enhance transparency in policymaking after Ohioans expressed frustration with a secretive budget process. (Progress Ohio)
- An EU watchdog group criticized the European Commission for hiring a former EP President and a former Irish presidential candidate as political advisers. (M&C)
- UK PM David Cameron promised greater transparency to the media related to meetings that he holds. (BBC)
- India is considering measures to heavily restrict the types of industry lobbyists that can influence government. (The Economic Times)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/14:
- Consumer Financial Protection Efforts. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Full committee hearing. 9:30 am. 2154 RHOB. Hope you caught it on our very own Sunlight Live, which covered this hearing!
- Internet Privacy. Committee on Energy and Commerce. Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee and Communications and Technology Subcommittee joint hearing. 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. 1:30 pm. 2247 RHOB.
- Office of Financial Research/Financial Stability Oversight Council. Committee on Financial Services. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. 2:00 pm. 2128 RHOB.
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.R. 2517. A bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require shareholder authorization before a public company may make certain political expenditures, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Financial Services.
- H.J. Res. 72. A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States giving Congress power to regulate campaign contributions for Federal elections; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
- S. 1360. A bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to require shareholder authorization before a public company may make certain political expenditures, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Transparency events scheduled for 7/14: