Today in OpenGov: Scandal boosts Clinton’s political career


TOP STORIES: The cast of ABC drama “Scandal” supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign yesterday with a $5,000/person fundraiser in DC. As “scandalous events” in Washington go, however, this one barely registers.

We find a ton of interesting posts on governance at the GovLab’s digest. What are you reading?


  • Whether a federal employee will be be punished or not for revealing classified information depends on who he or she is, argue POGO’s Danielle Brian and Elizabeth Hempowicz. [The Hill]

  • The Koch brothers are backing a new effort to make it harder to track dark money, reports Paul Blumenthal. [Huffington Post]
  • The bill in question was marked up in the House Ways and Means Committee today, which received $154,800 from Koch Industries in the last campaign cycle. [OpenSecrets]
  • The Library of Congress announced that it’s turning off THOMAS on July 5, 2016. [Law Library]
  • FTC Chief Technologist Lorrie Cranor warned of the re-identification risks involved in opening police data. [Tech@FTC]
  • BILLcam enables you create a widget to embed a state or federal bill in a webpage or article. [DailyClout]
  • Consider Rurik Bradbury’s satire of Jim VandeHai’s recent editorial about “The Innovation Party” a cautionary tale of how the rhetoric of transparency, disruption and innovation bandied about the startup, open government and civic technology spheres over the last decade can be taken to extremes that obscure the lives and issues that matter to people.
  • Continuing the conversation on open data critique and collaboration, John Wonderlich responded to Tom Steinberg’s response on Medium: “Maybe open data needs more adversarial advocacy,” he said. “What’s certainly true is that it needs more good adversarial advocacy, and all these coalitions and collaborative projects, to my eye, are likely to be as big a source of it as anything else.”

State and Local

St. Paul open data site
[St. Paul’s Open Information portal]

  • Open Information St. Paulmakes data dynamic, relevant and user friendly,” write Tarek Tomes, chief information officer of St. Paul, and Scott Cordes, the city’s budget and innovation director, in a guest post on Sunlight’s OpenGov Voices blog:

    “We believe an informed, engaged public can participate more fully in their community and help us innovate in our quest to make St. Paul the most livable city regardless of age, gender, race, income or any other marker of identity. To that end, we are thinking about the kinds of data that can help people in their everyday lives. Maybe you own a construction company that you want to grow, so you’re interested in learning what types of permits are being pulled most often. Maybe you’re a community activist wondering how election turnout compares in precincts across the city. Maybe you’re looking to buy a house and you would like to know crime information for the neighborhoods you’re considering. We at the city of St. Paul want to help people find easy answers to those questions and more.”

  •  The municipality of Anchorage, Alaska adopted an open data policy.“Making Anchorage an open data city will give Anchorage cutting edge transparency and improve engagement and access to the Municipality,” said Mayor Berkowitz. Sunlight’s team was proud to work with them to develop the policy. []
  • GovEx published a list of the books they’re reading (and love) about data and governing. Great idea! Tell us what you’re reading and we’ll share here on the blog and newsletter. [GovEx]



  • The World Bank launched, an interactive website that features the results of a recent mapping exercise funded by the bank. The website is accompanied by a report from the Open Government Research Consortium, which is made up of the Bank’s Open Government Global Solutions Group, the Open Government Partnership, New York University’s Govlab, Global Integrity, and Results for Development (R4D). An unfair summary of the executive summary is that more research is needed on the impact and outcomes of open government initiatives, policies and interventions.
  • Separately, The GovLab, MySociety and the World Bank’s Digital Engagement Evaluation Team launched the Open Governance Research Exchange, a new platform for “curating and making accessible a diversity of findings on innovating governance.” []
  • The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information published research and recommendations on local government engagement for the Open Government Partnership. [IDFI]
  • The Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Co-operation’s consultation on a draft recommendation on the regulation of lobbying activities regarding public decision-making ends tomorrow. The submission is based on the International Standards for Lobbying Regulation, which Access Info Europe, the Open Knowledge Foundation, Transparency International, and the Sunlight Foundation have been collaboratively working on over the past two years. [CDCJ].

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