Today in #OpenGov 7/11/14


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis including a new Director of the Office of Management and Budget, allegations of money laundering at China’s central bank, and declining numbers of reporters at statehouses around the country.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • Shaun Donovan, former Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, was confirmed yesterday as the head of the Office of Management and Budget, where he will be tasked (among other things) with implementation of the DATA Act. (The Hill)
  • Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, including its chair, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), allege that new releases of embattled ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s email correspondence reveal deliberate plans to use instant messaging and chat services to avoid government email archiving and records laws. (Politico)
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deborah Cohn has been accused of nepotism in a case where she allegedly pressured officials to create a position for the live-in boyfriend of a relative, said the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General, which is conducting the investigation. (Washington Times)
  • Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, head of business development and client service at Pzena Investment Management and a small-time (<$250,000 in the past three years) Obama bundler has been nominated to an ambassadorship to Costa Rica. Unlike some recent diplomatic nominees, however, Haney worked for U.S. companies in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Central America for a number of years and holds degrees from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. (Washington Post)

International News

  • In a rare case of internal investigations in China, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has accused the Bank of China, one of the country’s largest state-owned enterprises, of enabling money laundering through one of its overseas money transfer programs. (The Guardian)
  • Germany has asked the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country. The request comes after the discovery of two purported CIA double agents in German intelligence, as well as a slow trickle of revelations about U.S. spying on one of our closest allies and trade partners. (Reuters)
  • Indonesia’s presidential candidates are both claiming victory in the country’s presidential election, which was held Wednesday. Both candidates have raised the possibility of cheating during the vote counting process, and a small margin of victory for either candidate would likely result in a recount or revote. Official election results will be released by July 22. (NYTimes)

State and Local News

  • A new study released by the Pew Research Center found that the number of reporters assigned to statehouse press corps around the country has declined by 35 percent in the past five years. While state legislatures have begun to publicize their actions through various outlets, it hasn’t been enough to fill the gap. (Nieman Journalism Lab)
  • Boston has launched an Open Budget Portal, a site that will allow users to examine city budget data, conduct department-wide analyses of spending allocation, and track individual projects. The budget portal is the latest in a collection of tools released in conjunction with the city’s open government initiative. (StateScoop)
  • The race for the seat in Colorado’s 6th congressional district has already attracted over $3 million in political contributions to each candidate. The vast majority of donations—over three-quarters—come from big-name out-of-state donors like George Soros and the Koch brothers. (Politico)

Events Today

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