2Day in #OpenGov 10/31/2011


Happy Halloween! Here is Monday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:


  • The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency held its 14th annual awards ceremony last week, honoring a broad range of watchdogs. (Federal Times)
  • A new report outlines factors agencies should consider when developing mobile websites and apps, finding that agencies frequently put too much focus on getting apps online at the expense of ensuring that users have a successful experience using them. (GovTech)
  • The Obama Administration is seeking an independent audit of the Energy Department loans made to the failed company Solyndra, while the Republican-led House Energy Committee has threatened to subpoena related White House records. (iWatch News)
  • The Justice Department has stepped up enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (The Hill)
  • Obama’s strict “no lobbyists” promises have turned him into a hypocrite. (National Journal)
  • Senator Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) current chief of staff has gone back and forth through the revolving door several times. Most recently, he was making $440,000 as a lobbyist at Squire Sanders and Dempsey and had previously served as Portman’s chief of staff in the House of Representatives. (Legistorm)
Campaign Finance
  • iWatch News investigated the tricky line that 501(c)(4) organizations have to walk between issue spending and political spending.
  • Civic Commons Managing Director Nick Grossman presents on “The Opportunity for Civic Startups.” (GovFresh)
State and Local
  • State Rep. Terry Spicer is the fourth Alabama state representative to plead guilty to bribery as part of a federal investigation of gambling corruption at the statehouse. (The Republic)
  • A county judge has rejected an Arizona measure intended to ban the spending of public funds for certain candidates. The judge claimed that it was unconstitutional, as it focused on more than one subject. (AZ Central)
  • Montana’s commissioner of political practices has plans to regulate a fast-growing component of campaigns: social media. (Missoulian)
  • Nevada’s Commission on Ethics is struggling to handle a heavy case load with too few resources. (Las Vegas Sun)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 10/31-11/4:


  • None
  • Administration. Federal Election Commission: Reviewing policies, processes, and procedures. 1310 LHOB. 11/03, 10:00 am. Elections Subcommittee hearing.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.
Transparency events scheduled for 10/31-11/4:
  • Federal Election Commission. Meeting for the consideration of enforcement matters and other items required to be kept confidential. This is a CLOSED meeting. 10:00 am. FEC hearing room, 999 E St. NW, Washington, DC.

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