2Day in #OpenGov 9/15/2011

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Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.

Here’s 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

  • Super Committee members met for breakfast this morning. The event marked the first closed door meeting held by the committee. (National Journal)
  • House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) has joined John Kerry as the second member of the Super Committee to claim to mostly give up fundraising until the committee concludes its business. He has announced that he will not schedule any more fundraisers, but will not cancel those already on his calendar. (National Journal)

Access to Information

  • Rick Perry’s state office destroys all of its emails every 7 days. Transparency advocate John Washburn has put a temporary stop to this practice by devising a program that requests all emails produced by the Governor’s office twice a week. Emails that have been requested have to be preserved. (National Journal)

Lobbying

  • Foreign countries are spending less money to lobby the United States government. According to figures released by the Justice Department such spending was down nearly 6% in 2010. (Roll Call)
  • Recently released emails reveal some of the efforts that wireless company LightSquared put in to lobby the White House for approval of a new national broadband network. The outreach sometimes conveniently coincided with large donations from company leaders. (iwatch news)
  • There is a new lobbying reform proposal floating around. But, without a newsworthy scandal, it doesn’t appear likely to garner much enthusiastic support in congress. (Politico)
Revolving Door
  • Jeff Hammond, a top economic aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has joined Van Scoyoc Associates as a vice president in the firms tax practice. Hammond has previously worked for Senators John Kerry and Evan Bayh. (National Journal)

State and Local

  • Four New York City Council members are taking a novel approach to get citizens involved and increase transparency. They will each dedicate $1 million of their discretionary funds to a participatory budgeting process, that will allow constituents to decide what projects the money will fund. (New York Times)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/15:

House

  • Oversight and Government Reform. Corruption in Afghanistan Defense Contracting. 2247 RHOB. 9:30am. National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing.
Senate
  • Appropriations. Markup of the FY12 Defense; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services and General Govt; and Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills. 216 HSOB. 2:00 PM
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Defense Department Accountability. 342 DSOB. 2:30pm.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 9/15:

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