2Day in #OpenGov 8/25/2011

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

News Roundup:

Government

  • Staffers at the Government Printing Office worked overnight after the DC earthquake to ensure that its products, including the Congressional Record and Federal Register, were published on time. (Roll Call $)
  • A new survey suggests that while people want more government transparency, news organizations are spending less resources to fight FOIA lawsuits. (First Amendment Coalition)
  • Opinion: Cutting tax expenditures may not bring in as much money as estimates suggest. (Washington Post)

Ethics

  • CREW filed a complaint against Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) with the FBI and Office of Congressional Ethics alleging that he reimbursed employees and partners with corporate funds for contributions they made to his campaign. (CREW)

Super Congress

  • Deficit Committee co-chairs Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said in a statement that they have already started discussing committee rules and procedure. According to an aide, the committee considers a public website a “top priority.” (Politico)

Campaign Finance

  • A group of 100 CEOs, led by Howard Schultz of Starbucks, has pledged to stop contributing to political campaigns until politicians “stop the partisan gridlock.” (Chicago Tribune)
  • Candidates running for Congress set a non-election year fundraising record in the first half of 2011, raising $285 million in just six months. (Roll Call $)
  • The Federal Elections Committee dropped its case against the National Defense PAC, allowing the group to take unlimited contributions and contribute to individual candidates. (Sunlight Reporting)
  •  Even though Super PACs are prohibited from directly “coordinating” with individual campaigns, some Super PACs are blurring the line between independent expenditure group and campaign organization. (Washington Post)

Technology

  • The Office of Management and Budget launched performance.gov, which allows the public to track the progress of federal agencies across areas such as customer service, acquisitions, and financial management. (Washington Post)
  • Opinion: The government should make unclassified intelligence reports accessible to the public and non-government experts. (FAS)

State and Local

  • Citizens in Michigan were turned away from a meeting of an alcohol advisory board charged with rewriting the state’s liquors laws. Officials said that because the group is an “advisory board” it is not subject to Michicagn’s open meetings law. (Detroit News)
  • The California state government is rapidly developing new IT projects to track California’s prison inmates as they are  released or reassigned in accordance with a recent Supreme Court decision. (GovTech)
  • Opinion: There is an important distinction between ex-ante transparency, making sure the process is open, and ex-post transparency, which guarantees that the public has access to what government produces. Chicago’s city government still has room for improvement when it comes to implementing ex-ante transparency. (Gapers Block)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 8/25:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 8/25:

  • None
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