Today in #OpenGov 8/30/2013



  • Public safety groups are dealing with some of the same issues associated with big data as other organizations. Organizational culture, the challenge of implementing new technologies, and effectively integrating disparate data sources can cause problems, but some police departments, including Vancouver, Canada have found ways to use data to their advantage. (Government Technology)
  • The NRA PAC’s $10 million war chest has been enough to freeze Congress with fear of retaliation in the form of campaign spending, but the Obama administration appears less worried. Vice President Biden recently announced a series of executive actions on gun control. (Roll Call)
  • Al Jazeera America was quick to sign up some lobbying star power to advocate for the newly launched network in Congress. High profile lobby shop DLA Piper, with the help of former Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), have been working for the company since the beginning of 2013. (Roll Call)
  • President Obama will continue his trend of mixing business with his true love, raising money, next month on a trip to California. The President is scheduled to appear at a labor convention along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) after an afternoon fundraiser for the DNC. (POLITICO)
  • Super PAC’s are designed to be secretive, but one might be taking that a bit to literally. Secretive Politics, a Texas based super PAC, has failed to submit any mandatory reports or disclose a dime of its spending, despite it’s original paper work which asked the FEC to “register this organization as soon as possible” because it intended “to make unlimited independent expenditures.” (Public Integrity)
  • Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) wants to get a better picture of every federal program and contract. The price tag for his legislation, the Taxpayers Right to Know Act, could reach $100 million, but it has the potential to save the government billions by helping to identify duplicative and wasteful programs. (Government Executive)
  • New documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal, for the first time, the full extent of the money the United States spends on it’s intelligence agencies. Of the $52.6 billion outlined for FY 2013 the CIA came out on top with nearly $15 billion, with the NSA and National Reconnaissance Office not far behind. The documents also reveal that spending has increased dramatically since the turn of the century. (Washington Post)

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