Today in #OpenGov 8/15/2014


Keep reading for today’s look at #OpenGov news, events, and analysis, including the disclosure of the Ferguson policeman involved in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a new law in Ukraine that could threaten media freedoms, and the release of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s email addresses, as well as those of his staffers, in the wake of accusations that the Governor violated his state’s Open Records law.

A newspaper with the headline Open Gov National News

  • The police in Ferguson broke their weeklong silence on Friday and identified the officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. The officer was Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who had no disciplinary actions taken against him. (New York Times)
  • The Pentagon inspector general found that Regina Dugan, the former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, violated ethics laws by endorsing a product she developed while in the private sector. The IG’s report comes after Project on Government Oversight long criticized the IG for not investigating such breaches of ethics laws. (GovExec)
  • Days before the Obama Administration levied economic sanctions, Russian gas company OAO Novatek enlisted the help of a D.C.-based lobbying firm, QorvisMSL LLC, in dealing with the U.S. government. (Washington Post)
  • The Republican-aligned Crossroads GPS is making major politicla ad buys–worth $3.1 million in total–targeting five House Democrats. The ads will target Democratic Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Scott Peters (Calif.), Brad Schneider (Ill.) Bill Enyart (Ill.) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.). (The Hill)

International News

  • A new draft law in Ukraine threatened to empower the government to shut down media outlets and block websites in the name of national security. The law, which passed its first reading in parliament yesterday, has exasperated local journalists and civil society figures, who find it eerily similar to Russian restrictions on media freedoms. (Global Voices)
  • The South African National Roads Agency is under scrutiny after applying to keep a court record on a new highway project sealed. The Western Cape High Court has also under close watch as they deliberate over disclosing the record, which includes significant information like highway construction details and costs. (News 24)
  • A city councilor in the Philippines has called on they mayor of Porac to implement a “full disclosure policy” concerning programs and projects funded by the city government. (Sun Star)

State and Local News

  • Not only were Wesley Lowery, a reporter for the Washington Post, and Ryan Reilly, a reporter for the Huffington Post, detained while on the job in Ferguson–a team from Al Jazeera America was also reportedly teargassed in a series of aggresive police actions towards journalists. (TechDirt)
  • A California state Senate bill on campaign funding disclosure faces “a do-or-die moment” in the California Assembly. The bill is wavering in limbo on the suspense file in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. (San Francisco Gate)
  • Internet giants Google and Yahoo must disclose who established several email accounts held by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, along with his current and former employees, as part of a lawsuit pending in Tallahassee that says the governor routinely circumvented the state’s open records law, a court ruled Wednesday. (Tampa Bay Times)

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