Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is Tuesday’s take on transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- The collapse of SOPA and PIPA, after protest from the tech industry and general public last week, has opened the door for alternative legislation being proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). (The Hill)
- The White house announced a major addition to its data.gov efforts. Education.data.gov will target developers, teachers, and students. (Tech President)
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) reported “questionable contact” by Harbinger Capital, a hedgefund invested heavily in controversial wireless start-up LightSquared, to the Senate Ethics Committee. Grassley viewed certain contact by the company as an attempt to discuss a quid pro quo. (The Hill)
- Strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker is bringing on some new employees direct from government service. Rachel Racusen was director of public affairs at FEMA while Noralisa Leo was an external affairs officer and deputy director at the Smithsonian. (National Journal)
- The Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez (R-NM), is endorsing legislative efforts to institute a two-year ban on lobbying for ex-lawmakers. (Lobby Comply)
- Google spent $3.76 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2011 as it fought over online piracy laws and other major issues. The company easily outpaced its third quarter spending of $2.38 million. Throughout 2011 Google spent almost $10 million on lobbying, nearly twice the amount they spent in 2010. (AP/Yahoo)
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is organizing an online lobbying blitz centered around tonight’s State of the Union address. The organization is urging its members and supporters to tweet the White House and Congress to “#getserious about #jobs”. (Roll Call $)
- Lobbyists representing Egypt in Washington rapidly mobilized to provide the country with political cover after security forces raided 17 foreign-based NGO’s at the end of 2011. The raids were condemned at high levels of the U.S. government. (Politico)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/24:
- Markup of H.R. 3581, Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2011 (and other legislation). Budget. 10:00 am. 210 CHOB. Full Committee Markup.
Relevant bills introduced: