2Day in #OpenGov 9/8/2011


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)


  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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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