Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Happy Sunshine Week! Here is your first look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- Super PACs are looking to continue influencing the political process after votes have been cast by the American public in 2012’s elections. PACs and their wealthy benefactors may look to influence Senate and House party leadership fights. (Politico)
- Uber-conservative super PAC FreedomWorks for America received almost half of its $2.7 million bankroll from affiliated nonprofit FreedomWorks Inc. The true sources of that money do not have to be disclosed. Similar arrangements exist across party and ideological lines, resulting in massive amounts of essentially undisclosed spending this election year. (iWatch News)
- People are requesting more records than ever under FOIA and the government is struggling to keep up. The Obama administration replied to more requests than ever in 2011. But the number of requests was up 8% over 2010. (iWatch News)
- Many members of Congress that have announced their retirements in advance of November’s election are already being courted by K street. (Politico)
- Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs spoke against members of Congress who don’t understand the internet during a speech at SXSW on Saturday, saying that the internet “is not something you…hire someone for. It has to be the way you live your life.” (National Journal)
- Reporters Without Borders released their latest “Enemies of the Internet” list. Bahrain was added to the list of countries that limit freedom of expression or access to the web, while Libya was removed following regime change in the country. (AP/Yahoo)
- Citizens in Zimbabwe are organizing to literally turn the lights on in the face of public corruption. A protest march against corruption, mismanagement and poor service in the state-owned electricity company is scheduled for March 24. (Transparency International)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 3/12-3/16:
- Hearings to examine FOIA, focusing on safeguarding critical infrastructure information and the public’s right to know. Judiciary. Tues. 3/13. 10:30 am. 226 DSOB. Full committee hearing.
- Hearings to examine Congress, focusing on reform proposals for the 21st century. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Wed. 3/14. 10:00 am. 342 DSOB. Full committee hearing.
- Proposed budget estimates for FY13 for the GAO, GPO, and CBO. Appropriations. Thur. 3/15. 2:30 pm. 138 DSOB. Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriations.
Relevant bills introduced:
- DOJ Sunshine Week Event. DOJ. Mon. 3/12. 2:00-3:00 pm. Department of Justice Great Hall, 10th and Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC.
- The Big Chill: Press Freedom in Turkey. NED. Mon. 3/12. 2:00-3:00 pm. 1025 F Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.
- D.C. Open Government Summit. Press Club. 6:30-8:30 pm. Tues. 3/13. Conference Rooms, The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045.
- Sunshine at Sundown: Sunshine Week Networking. Press Club. Wed. 3/14. 6:00-8:00 pm. Conference Rooms, The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045.
- The State of FOIA. Georgetown SPJ. 6:30-8:30 pm. Thur. 3/15. 3101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200, Room 229, Arlington, VA.
- Open Data Open House: Developers. Data.gov. Thurs. 3/15. 2:00-4:00 pm. GSA, 1800 F Street, NW, Auditorium (first floor), Washington, DC.
- Conference: National Freedom of Information Day. Newseum. Fri. 3/16. 8:30 am. Knight Conference Center, Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
- Fifth Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration. AU Law. Fri. 3/16. 9:30 am. AU WCL, Room 603, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.