- Outfits like Ushahidi spent years building and sharing tools to help track election issues in advance of recent presidential elections in Kenya, hoping that they could help stem the violence that came along with the country’s last election in 2007. While they can’t take all the credit for relatively peaceful polls this year, their efforts were part of broader initiatives that seem to have worked. (Tech President)
- The FBI has taken advantage of rules in the PATRIOT act that allow them to send out “national security letters” that come along with gag orders, preventing their recipients from even talking about the existence of the letters. Recently, several tech companies have successfully pushed back about this closed process. First, the Electronic Frontier Foundation successfully sued, representing an unnamed telecom company, and now Google is taking on the practice. (Ars Technica)
- The IRS mistakenly revealed the names of a number of donors to the Republican Governors Association Public Policy Committee, a “nonprofit” that is supposed to be able to hide its donor list from public view. (Public Integrity)
- The House Judiciary Committee is sending Richard Hertling, its former chief counsel and staff director, through the revolving door. Hertling, who has also worked in the Senate and at the Justice department during the Bush administration, is joining Covington & Burling government affairs team. (The Hill)
- While the National Rifle Association gets most of the press and popular attention another group, Gun Owners of America, is emerging as a major force in opposition to new gun control legislation that is winding its way through the Senate. (New York Times)
- When the U.S Chamber of Commerce and Labor Unions came to agreement on visas for low-skilled workers the lane seemed open for a slam dunk for this immigration reform legislation. But, some business groups are unhappy with the deal and, led by the construction industry, appear poised to launch a lobbying press to block the deal.(POLITICO)
- Beards are booming among groups as diverse as urban hipsters and mountain men, but facial hair has been on a long decline in America’s halls of power. Now there’s a PAC aiming to reverse that trend. The Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of Responsible Democracy (BEARD) PAC recently registered with the FEC. Happy Friday and enjoy the accompanying slideshow! (National Journal)
RELEVANT BILLS INTRODUCED:
HAPPENING TODAY 4/5:
- Simpler: The future of government. Brookings. 10:00 – 11:30 am. 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Falk Auditorium, Washington, DC 20036.
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