- Lobbying was down slightly in 2013 over 2012, but a ton of money was still flowing through the system. Unsurprisingly, health care was the top sector, with close to $550 million spent on lobbying. (Roll Call)
- AskThem.io, launched by the Participatory Politics Foundation yesterday, aims to provide a platform for structured question and answers with elected officials across the country. According the the Participatory Politics Foundation’s founder, it is sort of like the White House’s We The People platform, but extended to more than 140,000 elected officials nationwide. (E Pluribus Unum)
- More than 1.3 million Mexican students were part of an exercise in transparency and accountability late last year. (Transparency International)
- The city council in Brighton and Hove, in the UK, is the first city to implement a version of mySociety’s WhatDoTheyKnow, a system to simplify FOI requests. (mySociety)
State and Local News
- Chicago released its first annual “open data report,” this week. The report highlights data that was made available last year and lays out goals for routing publication of agency data moving forward. (Chicago Tribune)
- The State of Hawaii is launching apps to help citizens find their state senator or representative. They operate thanks to the state’s newly upgraded GIS infrastructure. (Future Gov)
- The California Fair Political Practices Commission leveled its largest fine ever this week. The $133,000 fine was handed to a top lobbying firm for violated a number of campaign finance laws, particularly one against throwing lavish parties for politicians. (Washington Times/ AP)
- Markup of H.R. 4011, Alaska Bypass Fair Competition Act, H.R. 3308, Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013, and H.R. 2804, All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act of 2013. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Tues. 2/11. 9:00 – 10:00 am. 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.
- Markup of H.R. 1872, Budget and Accounting Transparency of 2014 and H.R. 1869, Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2014. Committee on the Budget. Tues. 2/11. 10:00 am. 210 Cannon House Office Building.
- The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2014. Committee on the Judiciary. Tues. 2/11. 11:30 am. 2237 Rayburn House Office Building. Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law.
- Tariff rates and corruption: Evidence from a tariff liberalization program. Inter-American Development Bank. Tues. 2/11. 12:00 – 1:30 pm. 1300 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
- Overcoming Obstacles in Acquisition Reform. Committee on Armed Services. Wed. 2/12. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.