2Day in #OpenGov 12/1/2011

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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.

News Roundup:

Campaign Finance

  • Super PACs focused on electing or defeating members of Congress are starting to appear. Most notable, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is petitioning the FEC for permission to add a Super PAC component to his leadership PAC. (Washington Post)
  • Campaign finance reform groups are pushing back against an effort in the House to end public financing of presidential campaigns and terminate the Election Assistance Commission. (National Journal)
  • House Democrats are preparing several campaign finance reform proposals. The are likely to face heavy opposition from Republicans, who argue that limitations on spending infringe on free speech. (The Hill)
Access to Information
  • Presidential candidates and President Obama are facing scrutiny over their commitments to transparency. Many of them have touted their records, but stalled or denied access to information when it pleased them. (AP/Yahoo)
  • A reporter for Gawker Media has sued the National Archives for refusing a request related to former President George W. Bush. The reporter wanted to find out who sought access to administration documents, but was denied access even though the Archives is known to have the information. (Courthouse News)
  • California newspapers are sparring with state lawmakers over the media’s right to information about legislative spending. Journalists claim that the state legislature routinely responds to information requests with incomplete and misleading records. (Courthouse News)
Government
  • An oversight hearing focused on the 2009 stimulus revealed that easing some reporting requirements could lessen the burden on recipients of stimulus funds, but might result in more fraud and waste. (Nextgov)
  • The Chairman of the board charged with overseeing $800 billion in Recovery Act spending is stepping down. Earl Devaney was credited with proactively monitoring funds as opposed to reacting to waste. He is retiring after a long career in federal oversight. (Government Executive)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 12/1:

House

  • Anti Public Corruption Enforcement/Private Property Rights Protection. Judiciary. 2141 RHOB. 10:00 am. Full Committee markup.
Senate
  • Hearings to examine continuing oversight of the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. 106 DSOB. 10:00 am.
  • Insider Trading and Congressional Accountability. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 342 DSOB. 2:30 pm. Full Committee hearing.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.
Transparency events scheduled for 12/1:
  • None.

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