Today in #OpenGov 7/8/2014


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis including a CIA employee’s virtual ouster after a FOIA request, an Australian state still struggling with government transparency even in the wake of a political gift controversy, and plenty of state and local news.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • The MayDay SuperPAC, which aims to counteract SuperPAC donations in the 2014 midterm elections by giving them a taste of their own medicine, has surpassed its fundraising goals. With a $5 million fundraising goal for Independence Day weekend, MayDay received $7.3 million as of July 7th. How exactly MayDay will use its funds will become evident as this year’s election season draws closer. (New York Times)
  • After filing a FOIA request for old classified documents apparently eligible for public release, CIA employee Jeffrey Scudder faced internal investigations from the CIA, as well as a virtually forced retirement. (Washington Post)

International News

  • The European Union Commission is under fire for not proactively disclosing meetings with tobacco industry lobbyists. Members of the European Parliament have called for the EU Commission to fully comply with the World Health Organization’s transparency rules on the tobacco lobby. (Euractiv)
  • After the resignation of an Australian Premier, following a scandal involving a gifted $3000 bottle of wine, his successor Mike Baird hasn’t shown much enthusiasm for more efficient government transparency in the wake of the wine controversy. Baird’s political lobbying reforms for the region of New South Wales allow for a four-month delay between lobbying meetings and their public disclosure. (Sydney Morning Herald)

State and Local News

  • A proposed amendment on Missouri’s August ballot, if passed, would change the state’s constitution to add privacy protections for Missourians’ electronic communications. Police would have to yield warrants before searching or seizing electronic devices, emails, and other electronic data. (GovTech)
  • In the California legislature, government-on-government lobbying is even more common than private sector lobbying. According to the California Secretary of State, water districts, city councils and school districts spend more than bankers, pharmaceutical companies, health care or other private entities on lobbying efforts. (Los Angeles Daily News)
  • The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a blow to open government advocates, concluded Monday there is no legal requirement for police agencies to disclose any more than the most perfunctory information when they arrest people, including name and address of the person arrested, the date, time and place of the arrest and the offense for which the person was arrested. (Hartford Courant)


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