2Day in #OpenGov 7/26/2011


Policy intern Eric Dunn contributed to this roundup.

Here are Tuesday’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:


  • The current debt ceiling talks have been secretive and un-transparent, despite modern political rhetoric favoring open government. (Politico)
  • The Congressional Management Foundation reported that Congress has adapted new social media tools faster than it has picked up on technology in the past; Facebook is more popular than Twitter among Hill offices. (The Washington Post)(The National Journal)
  • Opinion: The U.S. Department of Transportation lags far behind other agencies in social media utilization. (Gov Fresh)


  • Lobbyists are hard at work trying to convince legislators to come to a debt-ceiling agreement, but are having little success. (Washington Times)
  • Opinion: Lobbyists should support the Lobbyist Disclosure and Enhancement Act. (Sunlight Blog) (Sunlight Foundation consultant Lisa Rosenberg wrote this in response to a piece by Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists.)


  • Roll Call responded to an inquiry regarding whether or not ethics training is required for lobbyists. (Roll Call)
  • Rep. David Wu declared that he did “nothing illegal” in his sexual encounter with a teenage family friend last Thanksgiving. (Politico)

Campaign Finance

  • A Congressional Quarterly study revealed that House lawmakers have made their spouses among the high-paying employees of their election campaigns. (Roll Call)


  • The Joint Committee on Printing redirected its website to the House Administration Committee following a Sunlight report that criticized the website. (Roll Call)
  • The director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team resigned after recent breaches in cybersecurity on government networks. (Tech Daily Dose)

State and Local

  • Alex Tourk, a former lobbyist who ran into trouble with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has signed on to Bevan Duff’s campaign for mayor. (Huffington Post)
  • Over a hundred people participated in a training session in Topeka, KS that focused on explaining the state’s transparency related laws. (The Topeka Capital-Journal)
  • State disclosure laws are finding it hard to keep up with the money being spent by lobbyists to influence health care legislation in Vermont. (Forbes)
  • Opinion: A local group advocated for public officials in Florida to sign an open government pledge. (TC Palm)


  • A watchdog group determined that an agency in Ottawa, Canada gave preferential treatment to certain employees for a public advisory committee. (CTV News)
  • Hopes are high that a new member of the Public Health Foundation of India, Narayana Murthy, will bring greater transparency to the publicly funded organization. (MoneyLife)
  • A look at the progress the UK has made since Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a pledge to make government data more transparent. (Tails Consulting)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/26:


  • Public Corruption Law Amendments. Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing. House Committee on the Judiciary. 10:00 am. Rayburn House Office Building, room 2141.


  • Small Business Contracts: How Oversight Failures and Regulatory Loopholes Allow Large Businesses to Get and Keep Small Business Contracts. Contracting Oversight Subcommittee hearing. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 10:00 am. Dirksen Senate Office Building, room SD-342.

Relevant bills introduced:


  • None


  • S. 1411. A bill to require the Public Printer to establish and maintain a website accessible to the public that allows the public to obtain electronic copies of all congressionally mandated reports in one place, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Rules and Administration. (This is a bill for which Sunlight has strongly advocated.)

Transparency events scheduled for 7/26: