Today in OpenGov: How GitHub and Internet Archive are helping to preserve Sunlight and more


EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you for the kind notes, inquiries and calls over the past week while Today in OpenGov was offline as your faithful correspondent traveled to Spain for the International Open Data Conference. (Look for our dispatch from Madrid below.) Sunlight’s staff have been busy in the interim, preparing for TransparencyCamp this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio (you can still register and submit a session idea), developing municipal open data policies with the public and cities, and working with our allies and the public around the world to hold governments accountable. Please keep your tips, ideas and feedback coming as we get back to publishing daily. — Alex


LABS UPDATE: As you may have heard, GitHub and the Internet with Superfast Broadband helps Archive to stepped up to help preserve all of the code and data created by Sunlight Labs over the past decade. Labs Director Kat Duffy has been in touch with many of you over the past several weeks. As she notes on our blog, Sunlight is still exploring new homes for existing projects: “We’ve received dozens of offers of assistance and interest in projects like Open States, Hall of Justice, Politwoops and Email Congress. I’ve responded to those who have reached out through and will be keeping interested parties apprised of our progress. Our board will make the final determination on such decisions, and I will continue to work with our Interim Director John Wonderlich and the board to facilitate that process.” Please keep in touch with her as we work through this. [READ MORE]


  • As most of the connected world knows, the past week has been one of the most tumultuous periods in modern presidential politics, with two presidential debates and publication of video and email online shifting the course and context for the election. Like you, Sunlight is watching the debates and following the impact of these disclosures and their manner. We’ve been calling for all  candidates to disclose their tax returns, in keeping with the transparency norms established over the past 4 decades. Last week, the New York Times published 3 pages of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns, which answered some questions of public interest. Many remain unanswered. [READ MORE]
  • We’re also asking for more transparency and accountability from the candidates and in the debates themselves: We’d like to hear answers to open government questions from all of the presidential campaigns. [READ MORE]


  • Former Speaker of the House John Boehner has been cashing in on his connections and influence in a new role as a “strategic advisor” to tobacco giant Reynolds American due to lobbying loopholes. [READ MORE]



  • It’s been much more than a century in internet time since the founder of the World Wide Web laid out a vision for countries to unlock their files and share them with the world. Here’s 10 of our takeaways from the recently concluded International Open Data Conference about where the efforts stands. [READ MORE]
  • Billions of people know that the oil industry generates enormous profits, and therefore the opportunity for enormous corruption. Sunlight’s Joy drilled deep into how open data can bend the curve of corruption, adding much-needed transparency and accountability to an energy sector that needs it. [READ MORE]



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