2Day in #OpenGov 7/28/2011


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

News Roundup:


  • Speaker Boehner is using the Faster FOIA Act, which unanimously passed the Senate in May, as a tool to introduce his debt ceiling increase measure. (Roll Call)
  • Politico reported that the President did not attend any public events or make his meetings available to the public amidst ongoing negotiations over the debt ceiling. (Politico)
  • OMB Watch examined the future of the Government Printing Office, which faces budget cuts next year. (OMB Watch)
  • The Commissioner of the FDA suggested that conflict of interest laws regulating members of federal advisory committees may loosen next year. (POGO)


  • Many lobbyists are anxiously awaiting the end of the debt ceiling debate to get back to work on pushing legislation. (The Hill)
  • Since the beginning of the year, at least thirty lobbying groups have helped bundle more than $2 million for political organizations and candidates. (iWatch)

Campaign Finance

  • Watchdog groups asked the IRS to revisit its policy towards 501(c)4 organizations and look at these groups engaging in political activity with greater scrutiny. (National Journal)
  • Rep. Issa (R-CA) requested information from the White House regarding political and campaign meetings planned at the White House. (Politico)
  • A ruling by the FEC last month that allows federal candidates to fundraise for PACs is being exploited by both parties to raise money for the 2012 election. (iWatch)


  • The White House had a bit of fun on Twitter yesterday by “rickrolling” its more than 2 million followers. (National Journal)
  • Constituents are expressing their concerns and views on the debt ceiling debate through Congressional Facebook pages, racking up tens of thousands of comments. (Washington Post)
  • OpenCongress.org unveiled significant new updates to its website designed to make it easier for users to contact their member of Congress. (OpenCongress Blog)

State and Local

  • Rahm Emanuel’s ethics measure stalled in the Chicago City Council yesterday after the local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce raised concerns it would subject them to registration requirements and fees. (Chicago News Cooperative)
  • Atlanta public schools signed a memorandum of understanding recognizing they violated local public meeting laws and failed to comply with records requests related to allegations of cheating. (Daily Report)
  • Governor Brandstad (R-IA) vetoed legislation expanding open meeting and disclosure laws to apply to corporations and non-profits seeking to influence school boards. (Quad-City Times)


  • The Omidyar Network announced support for the Arab Network Techies Workshop to discuss how technology and social media can provide a more open society. (PR Newswire)
  • Opinion: Lobbyists in Canada should be required to disclose their employees, who they are contacting, and what they are discussing. (Yukon News)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 7/28:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:


  • H.R. 2671 A bill that will amend the Public Health Service Act to establish and maintain an undiagnosed diseases network, and for other purposes.


  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 7/28:

  • None