2Day in #OpenGov 8/22/2011

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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 Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction have begun to iron out details about the committee including who will staff it, when it will meet, and whether those meetings will be public. (Roll Call $)
  • The Library of Congress will lose nearly 10% of its workforce by Nov. 3 as the Library offers buy-outs to select employees in an effort to reduce operating costs and confront budget cuts. (Roll Call $)

Access to Information

  • Members of Governor Rick Scott’s (R-FL) transition team announced that internal emails, potentially public records, were accidentally deleted. (TampaBay.com)
  • Opinion: America is at risk of losing valuable census data in the name of government austerity. (Washington Times)

Revolving Door

  • The Obama Administration’s nominee for the No. 3 position in the State Department works for an international consulting firm with clients who have lobbied the department. (Washington Times)
  • Former Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA) was hired by BAE Systems, a defense contractor, less than a year after he helped the company receive a $1.6 million earmark. Carney will work on homeland security and policy issues for the company. (National Journal)
  • Lobbyists for Health IT companies are trying to influence Affordable Health Care Act regulations. At least 70% of registered Health IT lobbyists have worked for the government at one time. (IWatch)

Campaign Finance

  • Recently elected Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) sent an email to various lobbyists and political action committees urging them to organize fundraisers and arrange meetings with her. (Roll Call)
  • Bank of America’s Director of Public Policy was overheard at an event for presidential candidate Rick Perry saying “Bank of America. We will help you out.” (Politico)
  • Paul Blumenthal takes a detailed look at Citizens for a Working America, a political action committee supporting presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in the 2012 election. (Huffington Post)
  • As governor of Texas, Rick Perry gave tax breaks, grants, and appointments to his prominent supporters and their businesses. (New York Times)
  • Opinion: Is Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC crossing the line between comedy and politics, or shedding light on a controversial issue that goes unreported? (New York Times)

Technology

  • Robert Cheetham, the director of The Public Mapping Project, discusses efforts to develop easy-to-use tools that make the process of redistricting more accessible to the public. (Directions Magazine)
  • Opinion: Contests to develop open-government apps often spark innovative projects that quickly fade away. New contests should include a focus on sustainability. (O’Reilly radar)

State and Local

  • Vermont launched a new feature on its website that allows users to access information about more than 100,000 transactions between the state government and private vendors. (VT Digger)
  • After intense lobbying efforts by the American Chemistry Council, California included language that highlights the benefits of plastic bags in its new environmental curriculum. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • A court in Illinois imposed civil penalties on a school district for repeatedly violating the state’s FOIA law. The case was the first to apply new provisions of Illinois’ new FOIA law that came into effect last year. (Rock River Times)
  • Former California legislators are using their influence and relationships to work as lobbyists or “consultants” in the capitol. (Sacramento Bee)

International

  • Brazil has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals and resignations. Four senior officials have stepped down in the last 3 months alone. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development sent a letter to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica calling on the political body to increase regulations on political ads. The group also called on the legislature to pass a number of transparency measures, including limits on campaign contributions and independent audits of political parties. (Jamaica Observer)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 8/22-8/26:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 8/22-8/26:

Tuesday

  • Gov’t Agencies, Mobile Apps Mobile Applications: Impacts on Agency Operations. 2:00 PM Webinar. GovExec. RSVP

Wednesday

  • Gov’t Agencies, Data Aberdeen on Big Data: New Best Practices for Government 2:00PM. Webinar. GovExec. RSVP
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