2Day in #OpenGov 7/18/2011

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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.

News Roundup:

Government

  • Members of the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission leaked confidential information to partisan allies at think tanks and lobbying firms. (Huffington Post via POGO)
  • Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will be nominated by President Obama to become the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Politico)(Huffington Post)
  • GovTech speculated on the agenda of the next CIO, following Vivek Kundra’s departure from the position. (GovTech)
  • An N.S.A. whistleblower will not face jail time for releasing information about the agency’s Trailblazer program. (The New York Times)

Lobbying

  • Lobbyists are not always required to disclose donations made in the form of honorary contributions to lawmakers’ favorite charities. (Huffington Post)

Ethics

  • Key staffers on the House Ethics committee may have compromised the extensive investigations of Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel by engaging in inappropriate ex parte communications. (Politico)

Campaign Finance

  • Only a few U.S. senators have filed their second quarter fund-raising numbers electronically. (OpenSecrets)
  • Nearly half of Obama’s campaign cash has come from bundlers, or well-connected individuals who raise money through their networks of wealthy friends. (The Washington Times)
  • After the Obama campaign released its list of fundraising bundlers, we ran the list through our influence tracking tools and published the results online. (Sunlight Blog)
  • Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) released a statement on Friday afternoon saying he would not release his second quarter fund-raising numbers before the midnight deadline. (National Journal)

Access to Information

  • Government transparency adviser Tim Kelsey said that releasing open data will generate “vast markets.” (Information Age)
  • Opinion: Releasing troves of data is not equivalent to transparency, especially when individuals do not know how to utilize that data. (Wired)

State and Local

  • The Koch brothers have spread their message of no unions, low taxes, and minimal government regulation to more states, beyond their well-publicized involvement with movements in Wisconsin and Ohio. (Bloomberg)
  • A Tennessee legislator worked with a lobbyist on legislation but says he was unaware that the legislation was identical to a model drafted by ALEC. (Knoxnews)
  • A Texas county defended its hiring of a legislative lobbyist to work on environmental review process issues. (Statesman)

International

  • The Prime Minister of India has placed a live webcam in his office as an anti-corruption tool. (New York Times).
  • Opinion: Russian transparency lags behind the rest of the EU. (Epsiplatform)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/18-7/22:

House

  • Pending Business. House Judiciary Committee. Full committee markup of H.R. 704, H.R. 1550, H.R. 2076, H.R. 963, H.R. 1059, and H.R. 1981. Wednesday. 10:15 am. 2141 RHOB. (Markups will continue on Thursday.)

Senate

  • Consumer Financial Protection. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Full committee hearing. Tuesday. 10:00 am. 538 DSOB.
  • Federal Regulation (Part II). Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Full committee hearing. Wednesday. 10:00 am. 342 DSOB.
  • Wall Street Reform Act Review. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Full committee hearing. Thursday. 10:00 am. 538 DSOB.

Relevant bills introduced:

House

  • H.R. 2572. To amend title 18, United States Code, to deter public corruption, and for other purposes.

Transparency events scheduled for 7/18-7/22:

Monday

Tuesday

  • Kiwi Connected: What Can the U.S. Learn From New Zealand’s Broadband Plan (RSVP here). 1:00 – 2:15 pm. New America Foundation. 1899 L Street NW Suite 400. Washington, DC 20036.
  • Making the Universal Service Fund Into a Universal Broadband Fund (Tickets here). 8:00 – 10:00 am. Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Thursday

  • Cybersecurity: Incentives and Governance (RSVP here). The Brookings Institution. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW. Washington D.C.
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