- Political reform on the agenda? Making voting easier and reforming the campaign finance system by challenging or invalidating the Citizens United decision could be on President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda. He has suggested in the past that he believes shining a light on super PACs would be a good idea. (Washington Post)
- Texans ask for White House response on secession: More than 27,000 Texans have signed a petition asking to secede from the United States. The White House has said it will respond to any petitions that receive more than 25,000 signatures on its “We the People” website. (The Hill)
- Analyzing federal technology investments: The federal government is taking steps to measure the effectiveness of investments in technology. The Office of Management and Budget will also be tracking innovative uses of technology in the 2014 fiscal year. (FCW)
- Improving federal social media: Social media experts from within and outside the federal government recently shared a few tips for the federal social media strategy. The discussion highlighted what is going well and what could be improved. (FCW)
- Obama victory could have reinforced unlimited campaign cash: Obama’s win may have reinforced the practice of unlimited spending for some groups, which was enabled by the Citizens United decision in 2010, some are suggesting. Obama embraced super PACs for the election instead of trying to fight them, despite voicing opposition to Citizens United. (New York Times)
- Questions on whether unlimited cash was over-hyped: Some experts are raising questions about what impact unlimited cash had in the election, which was the most expensive ever. One speculation is that people heard so many negative messages, they tuned out from the ads the super PACs were running with their unlimited spending. (NPR)
- Voters oust lawmakers facing ethics questions: Several members of Congress who were facing questions about their ethics were voted out this cycle. At least five members who faced ethics charges at the federal or state level were ousted by voters. (New York Times)
- Google faces antitrust suit: Obama’s second term means Google will likely face an antitrust lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC panel is said to believe that Google is violating antitrust laws. The makeup of the panel could have changed if Mitt Romney had been elected president. (The Hill)
- China blocks Google: China’s government blocked Google services, including Gmail and Google maps, last week. The sudden block comes as the Communist Party in the country is picking top government officials. (The Hill)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
HAPPENING THIS WEEK 11/12-11/16:
- The GW Crowdsourcing Seminar Series. George Washington University. Tues. 11/13. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Elliot School of International Affairs, Room 505, 1957 E Street NW, Washington DC, 20052.
- A First 100 Days Innovation Agenda for the Next Administration. Brookings Institution. Tues. 11/13. 2-3:30 p.m. Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20036.
- Effectively Serving the Citizen: The Power of Digital Government. Government Executive. Wed. 11/14. 7:30-10 a.m. Ronald Reagan Building, Rotunda Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC.
- Should the UN Control the Internet? American Enterprise Institute. Wed. 11/14. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 1150 17th St. NW, Washington DC, 20036.
- Covering Elections: The Challenges of Training the Watchdogs. National Endowment for Democracy. Wed. 11/14. 10-11:30 a.m. 1025 F St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20004.
- Campaign Finance and the Citizens United Decision. AU Washington College of Law. Wed. 11/14. 12-3 p.m. AU Washington College of Law, 603. 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC, 20016.
- In Mistrust We Trust: Can Transparency Revive Democracy? National Endowment for Democracy. Wed. 11/14. 2-4 p.m. 1025 F St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20004.
- Dark Money, Media, and the 2012 Campaign. New America Foundation. Fri. 11/16. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 1899 L St. NW, Suite 400, Washington DC, 20036.
- 2012 Law Review Symposium. George Washington University Law School. Fri. 11/16. 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. 2000 H St. NW, Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (L101), Washington DC.
- Get it Online: The Online Election – Social Media and the 2012 Presidential Race. National Press Club. Fri. 11/16. 8:30 a.m. 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor First Amendment Lounge, Washington DC, 20045.
- 2012 Post-Election America Values Survey: Analyzing the Election and Looking Ahead to the Budget Showdown. Brookings Institution. Fri. 11/16. 9-10:30 a.m. National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor Fourth Estate Room, Washington DC, 20045.