Today in #OpenGov 10/8/2013


National News

  • The government shutdown is blocking significant sets of economic data that often inform debate in Washington and could prove helpful as members try to find a way out of the current impasse. (Washington Times)
  • Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has a long history getting money from defense contractors and this quarter was no different. McKeon received bundles of cash from two defense executives. His campaign also paid his wife, who has benefited from defense industry largess during her own foray’s into politics, more than $15,000.  (Roll Call)
  • Although the potential repeal of a tax on medical devices became a talking point in the lead up to the government shutdown, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, which represents smaller companies, wasn’t working the issue any harder than usual over the past few months, spending $90,000 on lobbying during the 3rd quarter. Meanwhile AvaMed, counting many larger companies as members, ramped up its spending slightly over the past year. (Roll Call)

International News

  • Canada is expanding its successful FOI web portal. The site, which enables online filing requests and electronic payment of fees, launched as a pilot program in April with three departments and will be expanded to cover 16 more over the next six months. (Calgary Herald)
  • Some estimates indicate that a new open data initiative in Denmark may save the government over $45 million per year and be worth more than $85 million to the private sector. (

State and Local News

  • Open Twin Cities, who has been using public data, and pushing for more, in the Minneapolis- Saint Paul area, recently became an official Code for America Brigade. Along with E-Democracy, a non-profit with similar ideals, the group is planning an unconference next month. (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • We occasionally cover the bubbling open data rivalry between San Francsisco, but it turns out the two California cities compete over plenty of other things. (National Journal)

Events Today

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