2Day in #OpenGov 7/25/2013


by Justin Lin, policy intern


  • The Senate Finance Committee is focused on making sure that the senators’ submissions for tax reform are kept secret. All submissions will be sealed from the public until 2064, and in addition, each document will be encrypted so as not to give away the senators’ names. Only Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, ranking member, and ten other staffers will be given access to these documents so as to prevent leaks and ensure secrecy. (Politico)
  • Some companies are beginning to voluntarily disclose their dark money contributions. Twelve percent of S&P 500 companies voluntarily disclose part of what they contribute to 501 (c)(4) non-profits, and 6.4% of these companies that they don’t contribute to 501 (c)(4)’s at all. The Center for Public Accountability’s study, which is the “first-of-its-kind”, will release the full report laster this month. (Center for Public Integrity)
  • Senator John McCain and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could be poised for more conflicts again. McCain and McConnell have a storied history of battles against one another, and lately, as McCain has been striking deals with the other party, some say McConnell feels his leadership is being subverted. McCain, however, has denied these charges, saying that McConnell has been very involved in negotiations with the other side. (The Hill)
  • PRISM, the NSA’s data-mining operations that involved major tech corporations, may change its face in the near future. Google and Microsoft have written petitions to FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) that would allow them to release data on the FISA court orders. However, most of these tech companies have not mentioned much actual legislation reform on surveillance laws (Politico)
  • Billionaires Bill Ackman and Carl Ichan are starting to have a lobbying war because of Herbalife, a company Ackman has shorted on the stock market. Ackman has alleged that Herbalife disproportionately targets minorities and has begun lobbying the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to investigate these types of charges. However, Herbalife has also begun lobbying other groups to dispute Ackman’s case, making this sure to be a contentious fight. (Politico)


  • H.R. 2758. Redistricting Reform Act of 2013. To prohibit States from carrying out more than one Congressional redistricting after a decennial caucus and apportionment, to require States to conduct such a redistricting through independent commissions, and for other purposes.