Today in OpenGov: Strengthening oversight, curbing foreign money, transparency on the trail


OPEN UP: Why do presidential candidates disclosing health records and tax returns matter? Any health conditions that could affect ability to carry out duties of the presidency should be disclosed. Expectations of privacy accorded to private citizens outweighed by public interest. Once elected, a President gives up some privacy, with respect to his or her health: annual physicals are voluntarily disclosed to the public. Similarly, any conflicts of interest that could influence a President should be disclosed. [Las Vegas Sun]

TIME TO UPGRADE: Today, Sunlight joined a broad coalition of 33 organizations calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to strengthen congressional oversight of the U.S. intelligence community. [READ MORE]

BEWARE: warns that the abuse of Congressional oversight authority poses a threat to open government advocacy work – including Sunlight’s. We’ll have more to say on this tomorrow. [READ MORE]

IDEA: FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub announced a new proposal to launch rulemaking to keep foreign money out of U.S. politics. [READ MORE]

CLEVELAND ROCKS: Registration is open for TransparencyCamp in Cleveland on October 14-15. Please submit a session, spread the word and come! [REGISTER]


  • Transparency is now a top issue in the presidential campaign. [Politico]
  • Speaking at a rally today, President Barack Obama criticized the media for stories which create a false equivalency on this issue – and others. [Vox]
  • As the New York Times notes, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces trust issues on the trail. Between voluntary and involuntary disclosure of her record of service through FOIA, however, Clinton’s transparency exceeds historic norms. [New York Times]
  • Here’s our view: Clinton is pushing many standards for transparency. Trump is running in defiance of them. [WSJ]
  • Jason Leopold and Ryan Shapiro filed a FOIA lawsuit for any and all IRS audits related to Republican nominee Donald Trump. [Courthouse News]
  • David Uberti has some smart suggestions for the moderators of the presidential debates in his latest article. [CJR]


  • The Chicago Justice Department is suing Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications for response data. [StateScoop]
  • After a police union resisted body cams, a judge has ordered Boston cops to wear them. We’ll be seeing this headline in more cities in the future. [ArsTechnica]
  • Editors and news association heads weighed in on the future of FOIA. [Poynter]
  • Speaking of public records laws, Massachusetts has published draft FOI regulations. There will be a hearing on them – and some provisions on fees bear close scrutiny – on October 6th. [MA Secretary of State]
  • Great work on this mobile voter guide for today’s New York state primary. Go vote, if you haven’t! [WNYC]


  • The Commerce Department is thinking in public about advancing data quality. That’s good news, but we’d like to see them focus on data availability and proactive disclosure connected to FOIA demand. [Medium]
  • Speaking of data quality, the Department of Veterans Affairs has stopped sending performance data to Department of Health and Human Services’ Hospital Compare tool. [USA Today]
  • The General Accountability Office announced a Center for Advanced Analytics. [Govfresh]
  • The Obama administration is touting its tech victories, but the first five years aren’t getting much discussion. [TechCrunch]
  • Congress should not grant more secrecy to the Pentagon. [Star Tribune]
  • A more responsive, transparent government and media that isn’t driven by ratings and clicks would help to combat conspiracy theories, argues Zeynep Tufecki. [New York Times]




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