Today in #OpenGov 1/15/2014


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events and analysis including new lobbying data, an attempt at ethics in Missouri, and aid spending in Europe. series-opengov-today

National News

  • New lobbying data on Open Secrets shows “connections between lobbyists and bills, issues, and the agencies they target when lobbying.” It will allow users to understand which issues lobbyists specialize in, which federal agencies are getting lobbied most, and more. (Open Secrets)
  • Men have always represented a larger share of the political donation pie than women, and the super PAC “boom” appears to have made that imbalance even stronger. Only about 30 percent of all political donors are women and only 20 percent of donors to outside groups. (Roll Call)
  • Congress is poised to pass a massive spending bill and it looks like an important transparency fund made it into the legislation. The E-Gov fund, which has often come under attack in recent years, will receive a slight funding boost as a result of the deal. (Center for Effective Government)

International News

  • This map details how each European international aid agency spends its money, tracking them on a number of points including the most supported countries and levels of transparency. (The Guardian)
  • A lobbying transparency bill currently being debated in the UK has been widely panned by advocacy groups. In this case, it would severely hinder the ability of civil society and citizen groups to engage in politics. (Open Democracy)

State and Local News

  • Missouri is considering some ambitious plans to revamp its lax ethics laws. The new proposals would limit campaign contributions, ban lawmakers from accepting gifts, and put a cooling off period into place before they could become lobbyists. (Washington Times)
  • Fresno, CA is trying to up its technology across the board, pursuing an open data initiative as well as a city run high speed internet network. (Government Technology)
  • Newly minted Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) took a step to move beyond the scandals that plagued the end of his predecessor Bob McDonnell’s term. On his first day in office, McAuliffe signed an executive order banning the Governor and executive branch employees from accepting gifts worth more than $100. (Public Integrity)

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