Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is Thursday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- Newt Gingrich earned more than $1.6 million from Freddie Mac during the height of the housing crisis. He claims that he never lobbied for the company, but did not address reports that he was tasked with building bridges to congressional Republicans and developing an argument in favor of Freddie Mac’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives. (National Journal)
- A new ad from a pro Jon Huntsman Super PAC illustrates the close ties that exist between candidates and the “independent” committees supporting them. Our Destiny PAC’s chief strategist helped create some of Huntsman’s earliest commercials and may have violated the FEC’s 120 day “cooling off” period before leaving the Huntsman campaign to work for the PAC. (Washington Post)
- Vice President Biden will be attending a meeting of the Government Accountability and Transparency board today. The meeting is closed to the press. (Politico)
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) reports that Congress has been shirking its oversight responsibilities. Coburn also criticized potential cuts to the Government Accountability Office, which is trying to maintain its pace of investigations with fewer resources. (Washington Times)
- Opinion: the upcoming Supreme Court arguments on health-care reform are a prime opportunity to start allowing cameras in the courtroom and televising proceedings. (Miller-McCune)
- A Philadelphia law requiring lobbyist registration will go into effect on January 3, 2012. (Lobby Comply)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 11/17:
- House Energy and Commerce. Solyndra Loan Investigation. 2123 RHOB. 9:00 am. Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing.
Relevant bills introduced: