2Day in #OpenGov 9/16/2011


Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.

Happy Friday!  Celebrate the end of another week by checking out today’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

Super Committee

  • The Super Committee will hold its next public meeting on September 22. The hearing is slated to focus on tax policy. (Roll Call)


  • The Office of Government Ethics has proposed a new regulation that would ban all government employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists. The rule as currently written only applies to political appointees. (The Hill)
  • Former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) has added two members to his team at the Motion Picture Association of America. Laura Nichols, previously a senior vice president of communications and strategies at the Center for American Progress, will serve as executive vice president of global communications. Lori McGrogan, formerly Dodd’s Senate deputy chief of staff, will take a role as his senior adviser. (Roll Call)
  • Facebook held a reception for members of Congress on Wednesday to promote their efforts to protect children online. The event was part of Facebook’s effort to respond to congressional criticism that it is too easy for children under the age of 13 to log on. (National Journal)
  • Following up on yesterday’s story about LightSquared’s efforts to lobby the White House, Republican lawmakers have called for an investigation into ties between the Obama Administration and the company. (National Journal)


  • White House New Media Director Macon Phillips has answered some questions about We The People, their new online petitions platform that is set to be activated soon. (techPresident)

State and Local

  • Several New Jersey officials have called for changes to the state’s Pay-to-Play laws while criticizing the current system as “meaningless”. They want a simpler system with tighter contracting rules and more complete disclosure of contractor contributions. (Lobby Comply)
  • The ethically challenged Washington, DC City Council is trying to change. Tommy Wells and Vincent Orange, two council members who have kept their noses comparatively clean recently, announced dueling ethics bills yesterday. If passed, the bills could create a task force on ethics and accountability, institute term limits, and bar lawyers from offering discounted services to politicians, among other reforms. (DCist)
  • Corruption has emerged as a major issue in upcoming elections in Bulgaria. In response, a group of NGO’s has created a website, For Fair Elections, to track electoral violations all over the country. Reports will be collected entirely online via Facebook, Twitter, and email. (techPresident)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/16:

  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 9/16:

  •  None

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