Today in #OpenGov 9/13/2013


National News

  • When House members want to travel the world on “fact finding” missions they can seek funding from outside groups. Roll Call has a roundup of recent trips funded by a diverse array of groups from the Aspen Institute to the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. (Roll Call)
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee has reached a compromise on a new media shield law that would broaden the definition of “journalist” to include student journalists, freelancers, and anyone deemed appropriate by a federal judge as long as their techniques were legal. (POLITICO)
  • The name Jeffrey Thompson will ring a bell for Washington, DC locals as the man accused of funding an illegal shadow campaign to help elect current Mayor Vince Gray (D). His national profile is about to take off with newly released court documents that tie him to an independent effort to boost Hillary Clinton’s chances in the 2008 Democratic primary. (National Journal)

International News

  • The President of the parliament of Montenegro and recently installed president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly spoke in favor of transparency and openness in parliamentary operations. (Global Center for ICT in Parliament)
  • Edo State in Nigeria has regularly celebrated the role of technology in governance. This year, they used Edo State TechDay to launch Nigeria’s first open data portal. (Tech President)

State and Local News

  • Open Gov news continues to flow out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today it’s in the form of a profile of local civic hacker Tony Webster, a member of Open Twin Cities, who has worked on projects to publicize city restaurant inspection data and is hoping that his city will release better crime statistics and property data. (Southwest Journal)
  • Transparency policy is becoming a major campaign issue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where former mayor and current candidate Kathy Taylor is challenging the current mayor with a transparency platform. (Tech President)
  • Car Dealerships aren’t happy that electric car company Tesla, which recently posted its first profits and saw its stock soar, sells their cars via the internet. Luckily, they have lobbyists and lawyers ready to fight. Dealership groups are using a state strategy, targeting the company in court and through election spending. Tesla, and its wealthy founder Elon Musk, are prepared to fight back. (Yahoo/ABC News)


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