2Day in #OpenGov 9/8/2011

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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:

Super Committee

  • A bipartisan bill aimed at increasing the transparency of the Super Committee was introduced Wednesday by Reps. Renacci, Loebsack, and Quigley. (The Hill)
  • Lobbyists from all sides are targeting the Super Committee, looking to avoid being subjected to deep spending cuts as the committee tries to reduce $1.5 trillion from the federal budget. (Politico)
  • At least nine of the twelve Super Committee members have campaign fundraisers lined up for this fall, including one fundraiser scheduled for the night before the committee’s first meeting. (Washington Post)

Government

  • Many federal websites are not up to par, with almost a quarter being unreachable and only a third using modern content management systems, according to a newly released data analysis. (techPresident)
  • The SEC has ordered its enforcement staff to stop destroying investigative records. (Washington Post)
  • $40.3 million in social security benefits have been paid to deceased people since 2008, according to a Social Security IG report. (POGO)

Lobbying

  • The White House’s revolving door ban and stringent lobbying rules are having the opposite of their intended effect and actually pushing public sector groups away from more disclosure, according to a report released by the Center for Public Integrity. (Politico)
  • Business groups and lobbyists continue to argue that a temporary tax break on foreign earnings could boost the U.S. economy and create jobs. (The Hill)
  • The now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra sent representatives to the White House to meet with administration officials on numerous occasions between March 2009 and April 2011. (Yahoo!)
  • The Kuwait government repeatedly lobbied the U.S. State Department on behalf of First Kuwaiti, the company responsible for the problematic construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to a newly released Wikileaks cable. (POGO)
  • The Air Transport Association has hired former Bush Administration senior lobbyist Christine Burgeson. (National Journal)

Technology

  • Google Plus is not yet an effective tool for government agencies to add to their social network presence. (Government Technology)
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is hosting a Twitter town hall on Friday to answer questions from @WhiteHouse followers who applied to attend via web form. (techPresident)

Campaign Finance

  • Companies that keep their political spending hidden from shareholders have less market value, according to a research report released by Harvard law and Public Citizen. (Federal Times)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/8:

  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R.___. Deficit Committee Transparency Act

Transparency events scheduled for 9/8:

  • None.

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