2Day in #OpenGov 9/22/2011

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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

  • Members of the Super Committee are facing a lobbying blitz as they scramble to fulfill their mandate. (New York Times)

Lobbying

  • Rick Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, has earned more than $17 million from his lobbying practice over the past decade. Through the same period, Toomey’s lobbying clients have given more than $5 million to Perry’s political campaigns. (Washington Post)
  • BP’s PAC had taken a break from political donations in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill. In March they quietly started giving again. Fred Upton (R-Mich) is the only politician who has returned a donation since.  (Politico)
  • Unsurprisingly, K Street is not happy with new lobbying rules proposed by the Office of Government Ethics. Trade groups are worried that the new regulations will prevent government employees from attending trade shows and conferences. (Politico)
Revolving Door
  • Formerly senior counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Wrathall, will join Sullivan & Worcester LLP as counsel. (National Journal)
  • Representative Pete Sessions’ (R-TX) legislative director, Keagan Lenihan, will leave his post on Friday. He will start as McKesson Specialty Health’s federal government relations director on October 3. (National Journal)
Ethics
  • Nevada Republicans have filed an ethics complaint against Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV) alleging that she used her office to promote legislation and intervene with federal regulators to help her husband’s company and enrich her family. Rep. Berkley is currently running for a Senate seat in Nevada. (New York Times)
State and Local
  • The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has approved regulations to define lobbying activity and require lobbyists to register and report spending. The rules will likely go into effect in November. (Lobby Comply)
International
  • Despite more stringent rules instituted by the government after the events of Arab Spring, Saudi Arabian journalists and bloggers are hopeful for the future of open reporting in the country. New technologies have made it more difficult for authorities to stop the spread of information. (Yahoo/Reuters)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 9/22:

House

  • Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform. SEC Conflict of Interest- The Becker Case. 2128 RHOB. 2:00pm. House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs Subcommittee joint hearing.
  • Oversight and Government Reform. Administration’s Green Energy Agenda and Jobs. 2154 RHOB. 9:30am. Full committee hearing.
Senate
  • None

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 9/22:

  •  None

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