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.
- Reform groups renewed their request for the IRS to investigate if nonprofits that spend millions on political activities are eligible for their tax-exempt status. In a letter, the groups called out organizations including Americans Elect and Crossroads GPS. (Roll Call $)
- A new report from POGO and CRP found that companies involved in the Joint Strike Fighter program contributed almost twice as much money to lawmakers who joined the newly-formed Joint Strike Fighter Caucus than they did to other lawmakers. (Government Executive)
- The DCCC has charted an aggressive fundraising course heading into 2012. They recently erased $19 million in debt and are almost debt free as they prepare to spend on 2012 races. (Politico)
- A small language change in the defense bill sparked a large lobbying battle this week. The edit, backed by Florida lawmakers and lobbyists for Odyssey Marine Explorations, would have made it easier for the company to claim $500 million worth of treasure from a shipwreck. The Spanish government and the Obama administration opposed the language and it was eventually removed. (Washington Post)
- Code for America got a $1.5 million grant from Google to continue their efforts at making governments work better for people. (Government Technology)
- California’s online campaign finance database has been offline for the past two weeks and the Secretary of State doesn’t know when it will be back up. (Lobby Comply)
- A Missouri State Representative introduced a wide ranging ethics bill that would ban lobbyist gifts, strictly limit campaign contributions, and prohibit legislators from working as political consultants. (Lobby Comply)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 12/15:
- MF Global Bankruptcy. Financial Services. HVC-210, Capitol. 1:00 pm. Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee hearing.
- Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Aging. 562 DSOB. 2:30 pm. Full Committee hearing.
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.R. 3565, Reconnecting Congress with America Act. Referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
- New Technologies: Have We Learned Anything Yet About Risks?. Wilson Center. 9:00 am. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004-3027