Today in #OpenGov 9/19/2013


National News

  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington announced their latest report on the “most corrupt members of Congress.” The member’s have been implicated in controversies ranging from campaign finance misuse to having sex with patients. (POLITICO)
  • Chuck Schumer was finally able to wrangle a quorum for a vote on President Obama’s two nominees to the FEC in his Senate Rules Committee. The unanimous vote sends the nominees to an uncertain future on the Senate floor. Meanwhile, former FEC chairman Donald McGahn announced his resignation from the board, ending a tumultuous tenure on the commission that was marked by partisan rancor and gridlock.  (Public Integrity) (Washington Post)
  • A new media shield law being considered by Congress has some major backers on K street. Time Warner, NPR, News Corp., and more are lobbying hard for passage of the bill, which has new momentum after recent revelations of Justice Department spying on journalists. (The Hill)
  • Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, or in this case stranger than a running Simpsons gag. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign recieved a donation from one C. Moore Bacon, a name that struck the FEC, media observers, and even the campaign as…odd. But, after some legwork the Romney campaign confidently assured the FEC that Mr. Bacon was, in fact, more than a tasty internet sensation. (Washington Post)

International News

  • The World Bank is teaming up with the Open Data Institute and the Open Knowledge Foundation on a three year quest “to help policy makers and citizens in developing countries understand and exploit the benefits of open data.” While announcing the project, the World Bank noted that open data has already brought benefits to wealthy countries that have figured out how to make use of data resources. (Open Knowledge Blog)
  • Spain passed a new transparency bill on September 12 and one lawmaker took to the internet to crowd-source his vote. Joan Baldovi was inspired to launch the initiative, which attracted over 2,000 votes, after talking online with young voters. Most respondents strongly favored the spirit of the law, although the actual specifics were weak. (Tech President)

State and Local News

  • Chicago is presenting it’s new technology plan through a modern-design savvy web portal. For the tech dinosaurs out there, there’s a hand link to a pdf version of the plan, which highlights Chicago’s commitment to using “leading-edge technology” to egnage, inform, and empower their citizens. (Chicago)
  • The Knight Foundation is splitting more than $500,000 between 10 granteees focusing on local journalism and open government. The grantees are all backed by their local communities or a foundation based in their area. (CivSource)


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