Today in #OpenGov 9/11/2013
- NASA’s CIO for IT, Dr. Sasi Pillay, dug into the topics of open innovation and crowdsourcing during a discussion with FedScoopTV. (FedScoop)
- In a sign of just how dirty the word has become, the American League of Lobbyists is thinking about dropping the “lobbyists” from its name. Presumably they’ll come up with something better than The American League of People Who Get Paid Well to Convince Their Former Bosses to Support Their Current Bosses. (The Hill)
- A lobbyist appears to have crossed a line yesterday while trying to protect a client from Congressional pressure. Members of the House Oversight Committee, who held a hearing on agency transparency yesterday, revealed an email one of its members received from a lobbyist explicitly asking them to avoid questioning Jonathan Silver, former head of the Energy Department’s loan program office. (The Hill)
- The Israel Lobby, in the form of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is planning an all out push to convince congress to go along with President Obama’s plan to bomb Syria. The groups is sending 300 of its members to Capitol Hill today. (New York Times)
- Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had trouble getting a quorum for a vote by the Senate Rules Committee that he chairs yesterday. A vote had been scheduled on President Obama’s two nominees for the Federal Election Commission, but other lawmakers on the panel were presumably busy with other things like Syria. Schumer said a vote is still imminent, assuming he can round up a few of his colleagues. (Public Integrity)
- Open government information is increasingly being used to compare localities around the world on a wide range of topics, but a general lack of standardized data could make it harder to make full and robust comparisons. (Open Knowledge Blog)
- Costa Rica joined the OGP in January 2012 and took its time working out a National Action Plan, presented in April 2013. According to their national OGP coordinator their priority was strong collaboration and consultation with civil society groups. (Open Government Partnership)
State and Local News
- Buffalo, NY is trying to do big things with small data. City employees worked together to pull together a variety of data sources to help them identify neighborhoods that needed attention. They realized that looking at more than six months worth of data was both overwhelming and unnecessary. (Information Week)
- Politicians in Wisconisn are attempting to restrict public access to a popular database of court records, despite heavy opposition from media groups, landlords, and the state court system itself. The site includes information about civil and criminal cases filed in the state and is accessed 3 to 5 million times per day. (NFOIC)
- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sure is dedicated to her campaign schedule. She asked for an execution to be delayed, because apparently she takes the part of her job description that says she has to watch prisoners be put to death very seriously, in order to accommodate a fundraiser for her reelection campaign. (POLITICO)
- New Jersey A 4353 – Permit Transparency Act
- New Jersey A 4335 – Requires issue advocacy organization disclosure, increases disclosure of campaign finance information, raises amount of money contributable to committees, modifies restrictions on contributions by certain business entities performing public contacts
- New Jersey AR 184 – Urges Congress to pass legislation requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose all political contributions made thereby.
- Massachusetts s 553 – An Act to Increase Health Insurer Transparency
- Minnesota – Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Not Public Data Classifications Eliminated.
- Breathing Life into Freedom of Information Laws. National Endowment for Democracy. Thurs. 9/12. 12:00 – 2:00 pm. NED, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.
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