2Day in #OpenGov 10/20/2011

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Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.

It’s Thursday, which makes this the week’s penultimate 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 will hold its fourth public meeting next Wednesday, October 26, at 10:00 am. Criticism of the panel has increased as they have continued to meet almost entirely in private. (Government Executive). Sunlight Live will be covering the hearing.
Government
  • A GAO report has found inadequate transparency and potential conflicts of interest at Federal Reserve Banks. (POGO) The Sunlight Reporting Group covered the report here.
  • The Senate Committee on Homeland Security voted to advance the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act to the full Senate. The bill has been met with broad bipartisan support. (POGO)
Campaign Finance
  • Labor groups have been slow to react to the new campaign finance landscape that has emerged since the Citizens United decision. They do not appear ready to act as a liberal counterweight to conservative Super PACs and massive corporate donations. (Politico)
  • Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) is taking a novel approach to raising money this quarter. He will hold only one fundraiser, but promises a private meeting at another time to all who attend. The only problem? This might be illegal, according to the Public Campaign Action Fund. (National Journal)
  • The San Jose, CA City Council passed a new campaign finance law. The measure will slightly raise allowed expenditures for candidates who volunteer to limit their spending. It will also eliminate an increase in the cap that was previously triggered by the spending levels of candidates who choose to opt out of the system.  (Lobby Comply)
Access to Information
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler held a town hall meeting, but asked local papers not to publicize it. Her office claims they did not want to draw protesters to the meeting. (Politico)
  • The Obama administration is proposing a rule change that could open up old grand jury records, provided their release would not affect still-living witnesses or targets. The move could result in the release of historically significant Grand Jury transcripts that have previously gone unseen. (New York Times)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 10/20:

Senate

  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. FEMA Accountability. 342 DSOB. 10/20, 10:30 am. Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs.
House
  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.
Transparency events scheduled for 10/20:
  • None.

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