Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is the week’s first look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- The United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the US House of Representatives are organizing an event to promote and discuss the use of open document standards in parliaments and legislatures world-wide. (ICT Parliament)
- The Navarra region of Spain released a draft of their new law on Transparency and Open Government. Open government groups have applauded the law for setting “new standards for Spain and internationally.” (Access Info)
- Newt Gingrich came out against the SOPA and PIPA legislation on Thursday. But, his comments don’t match up with previous statements that he has made about online free speech. In 2006, Gingrich argued in favor of censoring the internet in cases involving Islamic radicals. (Politico)
- The Navy may have pressured the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry into withholding information related to water contamination at Camp Lejune. (POGO)
- According to year-end reports, some of Washington’s biggest lobbying shops saw their revenues decline in 2011. Gridlock in Congress combined with still-shaky economic conditions caused businesses to allocate lobbying money carefully. (The Hill)
- Former Representative William Delahunt (D-MA) started his own lobbying firm shortly after retiring from congress. One of his first clients, the town of Hull Massachusetts, is paying his firm $15,000 per month to lobby for a project that he personally earmarked $1.7 million for when serving in Congress. (New York Times)
- Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and his likely Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren reached a tentative agreement aimed at dissuading outside groups from flooding their race with money. (Politico)
- New federal rules allow traditional PACs and super PACs to operate under the same roof. These “hybrid” PACs can raise and spend unlimited outside money and give limited donations directly to campaigns and committees. Currently corporate and union PACs cannot become hybrids, but they are fighting for that power. (Politico)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/23-1/27:
- Markup of H.R. 3581, Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2011 (and other legislation). Budget. Tues. 1/24 and Wed. 1/25, 10:00 am. 210 CHOB. Full Committee Markup.
- Solutions Needed: Improper payments total $115 billion in federal misspending. Oversight and Government Reform. Wed. 1/25, 10:00 am. 2247 RHOB. Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management.
Relevant bills introduced:
- Will Super PACs Determine The 2012 Election. Advisory Committee on Transparency Mon. 1/23. 2:15 pm. 2203 Rayburn House Office Building.
- Citizens United Two Years Later: Money and Politics in 2012. CAP. Mon. 1/23. 10:00-11:30 am. Center for American Progress, 1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor, Washington DC, 20005.
- Future of Books. Mon. 1/23. 7:00-9:00 pm. Patrick Henry Library, 1010 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA.
- Awakening Arab Innovation. Carnegie. Wed. 1/25. 9:30-11:30 am. 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036.
- Resolved: The Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) Should be Utilized to Try to Control Bad Behavior Such as Copyright and Trademark Infringement. Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute. Wed. 1/25. 12:00-2:00 pm. Marvin Center Room 309, 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052.
- MMTC Broadband & Social Justice Summit (Day 1 of 2). Minority Media Telecommunications Council. Thur. 1/26. All Day. Westin Georgetown, Washington, DC.
- A Question Of Integrity: Politics, Ethics And The Supreme Court. AU Law. Thur. 1/26. 12:00-2:00 pm. 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Room 603, Washington, DC 20016.