Today in #OpenGov 8/28/2013



  • Mitch McConnell’s primary opponent continues to get outside help. Most recently, conservative PAC Project Madison dropped nearly $30,000 on media against McConnell, bringing total outside expenditures against the Senate Minority Leader up to around $300,000. (Roll Call)
  • The Open Knowledge Foundation is thinking through the intersection of privacy, big data, and open data. They note that it is important to properly think through these important issues before getting too involved. (Open Knowledge Blog)
  • Facebook has joined other tech companies in providing “transparency reports” on the number of data requests it receives from various governments. Surprise surprise, the U.S. government easily made the most requests over the past six months. (ars technica)
  • The Israel lobby has yet to weigh in on the potential U.S. military action in response to Syrian president Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons against his citizens. If the Obama administration decides to strike, they could be hoping for back up from proponents of Israel while trying to sell their plan. (POLITICO)
  • In Washington, sometimes it’s easy to mix business with other business. Noted lobbyist Tony Podesta is employing real estate agent Frank Snellings to sell his $1.89 million party pad in Capitol Hill. Snellings happens to be married to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who handles issues that Podesta lobbies on. (Washington Examiner)
  • Opinion: Political campaign spending is a mess that shows no signs of getting better. Antiquated rules allow candidates to use funds raised for election campaigns in a variety of inappropriate ways, including to hire family members as “consultants” or to pay lawyers to defend politicians against criminal allegations. (POLITICO)