- Obstacles to open records common in almost every state: While every state has an open records law, the unique loopholes in each state’s legislation, such as charging excessive printing fees, can make accessing this data in certain areas nearly impossible. (State Integrity Investigation)
- Europe’s lobbying transparency register needs more, groups say: The information collected by the European Union regarding its lobbyists is, according to transparency groups, untimely and largely inaccurate. These groups have provided a number of suggestions meant to improve this problem. (Access Info)
- Not enough disclosure when federal employees commit offenses: Citing possible infringements on privacy, government agencies often refuse to disclose the names of federal employees (usually lower-level ones) who commit misconducts. Many believe this practice to be wrong and cite the Freedom of Information Act as legislation that requires the release of this information. (Federal Times)
- Open data platform coming to Palo Alto: An open data initiative based on the federal government’s data.gov will be coming to Palo Alto, Calif., home of Stanford University, on Aug. 1. The city is partnering with an outside company to help create and maintain the site. (Government Technology)
- New bill touts voucher system for congressional campaign finance: A campaign finance reform plan that gives each voter a $50 voucher to donate to the candidate of his or her choice is increasing in popularity, and Democratic representative John Sarbanes plans to introduce a bill that would implement this system in congressional elections. (Washington Post)
- Arizona laws banning use of state resources to further campaigns lack teeth: Many candidates for state or federal office in Arizona (most notably those running for reelection) are publicly employed, and therefore they aren’t allowed to work on their campaign while on the clock. The lax enforcement of this law, however, has led to its frequent evasion. (Arizona Republic)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
HAPPENING THIS WEEK 7/23 – 7/27:
- New Ways of Evaluation Campaign Ads: Mon. 7/23. 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Brookings Institution. Falk Auditorium. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
- Muzzling the Media: News and Information in Closed Societies: Tues. 7/24. 11:00 a.m. National Endowment for Democracy. 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C.
- Transatlantic Perspectives on Digital Rights and Online Privacy: Wed. 7/25. 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. New America Foundation. 1899 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.
- Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs: Senate Judiciary. Tues. 7/24. 2:30 p.m. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Subcommittee Hearing.
- Senior Policy Analyst: Brookings Institution.