2Day in #OpenGov 9/14/2011


Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.

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

News Roundup:

Super Committee

  • Yesterday, John Kerry garnered praise from observers for pledging to suspend his fundraising activities until the work of the Super Committee is complete. Today, he is catching flak for making an exception to speak at a fundraiser in Boston next week for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (Boston.com)

Campaign Finance

  • During Monday’s Republican presidential debate Rick Perry admitted that he had accepted a  $5,000 donation from Merck but claimed that it had no bearing on his decision to mandate the use of an HPV vaccine manufactured by the company. It turns out that he has taken closer to $30,000 from Merck since 2000. Additionally, the Republican Governors Association, which Perry chaired in 2008 and again for part of this year, accepted almost $400,000 from Merck since 2006. (Washington Post)
  • Kinde Durkee, a prominent democratic campaign accountant, has been accused of stealing large sums of money from a who’s-who of California Democrats. According to the complaint, Durkee used money she had siphoned from candidates to pay her mortgage and credit card bills, among other expenditures. (New York Times)

Government Technology

  • The State Department’s office of eDiplomacy has helped move the agency into the 21st century by taking cues from Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia. They have instituted an internal wiki, and online blogging community, and a social networking site. (nextgov)
  • Fox News is teaming up with Google and YouTube for their September 22 Republican presidential primary debate. They are planning some upgrades over last years CNN/YouTube debate, but there is still room for improvement (techPresident)

State and Local

  • Riverside County, CA is considering a measure that would make electronic filing mandatory for all campaign finance reports filed by candidates and PACs. (Lobby Comply)
  • Concord, NH has adopted a new ethics policy that will limit gifts to elected officials and create an ethics board. (Lobby Comply)
  • Chicago is planning to release 10 years of crime data dating back to 2001. They will also continue to update the database with new information. The release is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to make Chicago’s government more open and transparent (AP/Yahoo News)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/14:


  • Oversight and Government Reform. Broken Federal Regulation Process. 2154 RHOB.  9:30am. Full committee hearing.
  • Appropriations. Financial Services Appropriations. 138 DSOB. Wed. 11:00am. Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee markup.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.

Transparency events scheduled for 9/14:

  •  None

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