2Day in #OpenGov 9/13/2011

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Written by Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey

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

News Roundup:

Super Committee

  • The Super Committee has launched their website. It includes video of the committee’s meetings and a way for citizens to provide their input. (National Journal)
  • An Oregon newspaper has chimed in with an editorial calling for the Super Committe to be “super transparent”. They point out that more than 100 lobbyists previously worked for members of the committee and note that Sen. John Kerry is currently the only member who has announced he will stop fundraising until the committees work is over. (Mail Tribune)

Lobbying

  • More than 5,000 former congressional staffers and 400 Members of Congress have become lobbyists over the past ten years, according to a study by Legistorm. The study also shows that the revolving door works both ways with more than 600 former lobbyists taking jobs with lawmakers. (Washington Post)
  • Jim Manley, former spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, will join the lobbying and communications firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates as a Senior Director in the firms communications and government affairs department (New York Times)
  • Comcast has been beefing up its lobbying operation. Their recent hires include former FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker and Rebecca Arbogast, a former FCC and Justice Department official (Politico)
  • Facebook has also made a few high profile hires recently. Louisa Terrell, a former Special Assistant to the President, will be joining as director of public policy and Erin Egan, formerly at Covington & Burling, will be director of privacy. They have also retained Erika Mann, a former EU member of parliament, to start a Brussels office. (National Journal)

Technology

  • A new survey shows that citizens prefer interacting with the government via web portals. This method was picked by more respondents than mail, telephone, e-mail, in person and mobile. (Federal Computer Week)

Ethics

  • A liberal advocacy group is filing an ethics complaint against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The complaint alleges that Issa has repeatedly used his public office for personal gain. An Issa spokesman claimed the allegations were without merit. (The Hill)

State and Local

  • Developers Derek Eder and Nick Rougeux have collaborated with Cook County (IL) Commissioner John Fritchey on Look at Cook. The open data and visualization project aims to make county budget information available and easy for the public to read. (GovFresh)

International

  • Brazil has some tentative plans for Open Government reforms. They include a freedom of information law and upgrades to transparency and open government online infrastructure. (techPresident)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/13:

House

  • Oversight and Government Reform. President’s Economic and Jobs Proposal. 2154 RHOB. Tues. 10:00am. Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending Subcommittee hearing.

Senate

  • Finance. Role of Tax Reform in Comprehensive Deficit Reduction. 215 DSOB. Tues. 2:00pm. Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Subcommittee hearing.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 9/13:

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