2Day in #OpenGov 7/31/2012

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NEWS ROUNDUP:

Campaign Finance

  • Mysterious V.I.P. donor gives nearly a million to New York politics: Despite his falsified biography and ownership of dozens of minuscule, seemingly unconnected corporations based out of his small apartment, James Robert Williams has been a reliable big donor to politicians on both sides, with his total donations totalling nearly $1 million. (New York Times)
  • During controversies, corporate PACs have effective playbook: Silence seems to be a virtue for the PACs of corporations caught up in a scandal, who tend to stop donating to campaigns when under media scrutiny. As evidenced by BP’s spending resurgence, however, it doesn’t last forever. (Politico)
  • Ways groups are circumventing Citizens United: A number of organizations are attempting to try to counteract the impact they feel that large-donor-backed super PACs are having on the airwaves. Some projects include one that encourages small donors to give money to their choice of ad that, if given enough funding, will run alongside those by larger PACs. (Global Integrity)
  • Opinion: Eliminating contribution caps will fix campaign finance: The author argues that by ending all limits on contributions to candidates, the power will shift from independent PACs to the candidates themselves, which will then have to take greater responsibility for the money spent. (The Atlantic)

Transparency

  • Transparency could help Peruvians hit hardest by climate change: Because of the devastation to the natural ecosystem climate change has caused and will continue to cause in Peru due to the Andes’ rapidly melting glaciers, groups have given large amounts of money to the farmers most affected. Transparency will be crucial, however, in ensuring that this money will pass through Peru’s notoriously corrupt government to the citizens. (Transparency International)
  • Florida group calls for increased state financial disclosure: Using data from the State Integrity Investigation, which found Florida’s financial disclosure laws to be severely lacking, Integrity Florida has sent the state’s government a report with suggestions on how to improve the state’s requirements. (iWatch News)

RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S.3442: SUCCESS Act of 2012. “It is the sense of Congress that Executive agencies should…(4) increase the degree and ease of information sharing and coordination among programs serving small business concerns that are carried out by Executive agencies, including State and local offices of Executive agencies; and (5) minimize redundancy in the administration of programs that can utilize common applications, where practicable, and consolidated web portals.” Referred to the Committee on Finance.

REST OF THE WEEK:

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:

  • None.

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