Today in #OpenGov 8/14/2014


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including a new GOP challenge to an SEC campaign finance rule, lobbying efforts by a former Clinton aide for the Keystone XL pipeline, and quiet changes to email preservation policies in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov

National News

  • The state Republican committees of New York and Tennessee filed a lawsuit last week in the District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to invalidate a 2009 Securities and Exchange Commission rule that caps contributions from Wall Street financiers to state officials running for federal office. (Politico)
  • A new Government Accountability Office report concluded that while rates of contractor performance reporting are rising across the government, compliance remains dismal, between 13 and 83 percent at the top ten contracting agencies. (ExecutiveGov)
  • Another GAO report found that the EPA has a mixed record of compliance with OMB directives. Among other criticisms, although the agency adhered to recommendations for opening the rulemaking process to the public, technical issues were not always presented in a clear manner. (GovExec)
  • Former State Department official John Napier Tye left his position in April, but not before filing a whistleblower complaint that claimed that foreign surveillance authorized under Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, the implementation of which has been largely classified, violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. (New York Times)

International News

  • China’s Liaoning Province has long operated an online portal that allows citizens to give feedback on the performance of individual officials in local government and provide proposals in particular topic areas. Some claim that authoritarian power of the state means that the majority of innovation in the public sector occurs at the local and provincial level. (FutureGov)
  • New FARA filings reveal that one of Hillary Clinton’s former aides, spokesperson Hilary Lefebvre, has been compensated generously for her efforts on behalf of the government of Alberta, which has engaged in extensive lobbying in favor of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline plan, which would send oil from Alberta’s tar sands to Texas. (The Hill)

State and Local News

  • A policy change last year in the Cuomo Administration institutes automatic deletion of unsaved emails after ninety days. The memo implementing the rule change, discovered through a public records request by ProPublica, cites the high volume of email data as the motivation behind the new rules. (ProPublica)
  • An Oregon ballot measure to switch to a top-two open primary system is opposed by both the state Democratic and Republican parties. The measure has garnered over $1 million in support, much from several businesses and entrepreneurs based in the state. (Washington Post)
  • As sites like Buzzfeed blur the line between sponsored and editorial content, the National Republican Congressional Campaign has launched a bevy of websites designed to seem like local newspapers. With names like the “Duluth Update,” the sites often contain paraphrases of material already published elsewhere by the NRCC. (Washington Post)

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