2Day in #OpenGov 7/26/2012




  • Germany’s Mittelstands slow to embrace transparency: Germany’s small-to-medium-sized, family-owned companies known as Mittelstands employ up to 70% of the country’s workers. Their modus operandi of anti-transparency may explain Germany’s aversion to the European Commission’s proposed disclosure policy. (Transparency International)
  • An analysis of open government plan trends: After looking at the action plans drafted by the 45 Open Government Partnership countries, the author believes the countries’ plans focus too much on websites and open data and not enough on private sector transparency and legislation. (Global Integrity)


  • Democratic congressman targets small donors to get big cash: An unorthodox fundraising plan (that doubles as a statement on the current campaign finance climate) by Rep. John Sarbanes opens up a $500,000 money pot filled by traditional big donors on when he receives 1,000 small donations. (Politico)
  • Does IRS letter brings hope for political nonprofit crackdown?: A recent IRS letter responding to groups concerned with the lack of transparency surrounding overtly political “social welfare” groups contained an assurance that these groups will be investigation. While some are calling this investigation-to-be a major step, others are more cynical about whether the IRS can curb the practices of these groups. (Washington Post)


  • $1 million goes to Indiana governor without disclosure: In Indiana, corporations and unions can only donate up to $5,000 to a candidate, but individuals and PACs can give unlimited amounts. Additionally, super PACs can use their money to give directly to candidates, as is the case in Indiana, where gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence received $1 million from the Republican Governors Association’s super PAC. The committee, however, lists the RGA as its only donor, therefore obscuring who gave the money to the association in the first place. (iWatch News)
  • Rhode Island house speaker covers formerly undocumented expenses, but questions remain: Gordon Fox, the speaker of the Rhode Island house, cut a check for $648 meant to cover previously undocumented food costs incurred at a 2007 fundraiser. The owner of the restaurant that catered the event had later represented a video game studio that received $75 million as part of a local job creation program. (GoLocalProv)
  • Vermont AG won’t enforce $2,000 PAC contribution limit: William Sorrell, Vermont’s attorney general, has said that the state’s PAC donation limit of $2,000 will not be enforced by his office as long as the PAC makes only independent expenditures. The decision comes in the wake of VRLC v. Sorrell, which upheld the limit only because there was no system to monitor if funds meant for independent expenditures went to campaign contributions instead. (Lobby Comply Blog)


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