Today in #OpenGov 11/7/2013

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National News

  • The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy is set to hold a hearing on a bill that would increase transparency around NSA surveillance programs. Administration officials, privacy experts, and folks from Google are slated to testify. (The Hill)
  • Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) is stuck in a revolving door controversy. After leaving Congress in 2009 she quickly set up a company and inked lucrative deals with four nuclear labs that she had built cozy relationships with during her time in Congress. Eventually, the labs took heat for using taxpayer money to pay her for questionable services and paid close to $500 million back. Wilson got to keep her cut. (POGO)
  • A little thing like prison won’t keep the FEC from demanding campaign disclosures from disgraced members of Congress like Jesse Jackson Jr., and William Jefferson. (Public Integrity)

International News

  • India’s Election Commission is tackling the growing use of social media in campaigns with new guidelines. The rules require campaigns to register all of their social media accounts, report their spending on social media campaigning, and more. (Tech President)
  • Ahead of parliamentary debate on their new secrecy bill, the Japanese ruling party has signaled that they may be open to changes suggested by the opposition. As written, the law would severely hinder the ability of journalists and whistleblowers to investigate and publicize government wrongdoing. (Bloomberg Business Week)
  • Whistleblowers, often the “regulators of last resort,” don’t always have protections equal to their power to expose government waste, fraud, and abuse. Whistleblower protection laws are spreading, but still have far to go. (Transparency International)

State and Local News

  • The small town of Bell California ready to put a long running corruption scandal behind it, and new leaders have turned to technology and transparency to heal and ensure that the same mistakes aren’t made again. (California Report)
  • Labor and business interests combined to spend $2 million to influence a local ballot initiative in a Washington town with less than 13,000 registered voters. The initiative, which would significantly raise the minimum wage in SeaTac, could be decided with a total of 6,000 votes.   (Washington Post)

 

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