Today in OpenGov: Election Day in America


ELECTION DAY: As you may have heard, Americans are voting for a new President of the United States today. Here’s four ways for the members of the public and government officials to use transparency and accountability to help mitigate rumors, conspiracy theories and false claims. [READ MORE]

UNDER THE RADAR: As you may not have heard, there’s there’s also a lot going on at the state and local level. Melissa Yeager: “Gridlock at the federal level has outside money moving down ballot — WAY down ballot. Sometimes it flows into races like state legislature, city council and even school board, where it is easier to gain influence on legislation for a fraction of the price of the federal level. The National Institute for Money in State Politics estimates that around $65 million in independent spending has made its way into state level races in 2016. (FiveThirtyEight recently wrote about the “nationalization” of local politics.) Here are a few of the local things we’re watching tomorrow night and will continue to watch after all the dust settles from the election”: [READ MORE]

TRACKING THE TRANSITION: At some point in the next 12 hours, we expect there to be a new President-Elect, which will shift the presidential transition into a higher gear. ( It’s also possible that there will be an unclear result or disputed election, in which case there will be a transition into a transition. Here’s hoping this aspect of Election 2016 isn’t drawn out.) We’re adding a new transition section to Today in OpenGov, starting today, with our traditional focus on transparency and accountability.


  • In the 7th episode of the Political Party Time podcast, embedded above, Drew Doggett and Louis Serino dig into the final fundraising and spending numbers for the 2016 election. The dynamic duo talks super PACs, fundraising parties and big money in U.S. Senate races.
  • Electionland is providing the best nonpartisan coverage of the election. Way to go, ProPublica and team.  [Electionland]
  • Jookos, a fake news website, published a hoax map that claimed ‘Facebook analytics reveal a clean sweep for Donald Trump in this election.’ Nope. Craig Silverman will be debunking hoaxes all day. Remember: First verify, THEN share. [Buzzfeed]
  • “Pop-up PACS” — some 28 SuperPACs were created since October, which means they don’t have to disclose donors until 30 days after Election Day. [Open Secrets]
  • Related: Millions in dark money influenced the 2016 campaign cycle —and we’ll likely never know where it came from. Chief Justice Roberts’ confidence in the sunshine of disclosure doesn’t feel well-founded, today. [Campaign Legal Center]
  • It’s official: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did not release his tax returns prior to the election. He is the first major party presidential nominee in four decades not to do so. Here’s why that matters.
  • Julian Assange claimed that the daily release of the DNC leaks, hacked email from John Podesta’s private account and weeks of tweeting nearly exclusively about Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton campaign were “not due to a personal desire to influence the outcome of the election.” [Wikileaks]
  • These Trump supporters think the FBI is sending them a secret signal to use the Freedom of Information Act. [Fusion]


TWO TEAMS ENTER, ONE TEAM LEAVES. One of these groups of people will be finding something else to do after tonight. The other will be managing the transition of the biggest, most powerful country in the world. Either the entry for the planned presidential transition of Hillary Clinton or the entry for the planned presidential transition of Donald Trump will go quiet. We’ll share what we learn here as we confirm it, with an eye on power and influence.


  • John D. Podesta (President)
  • Ken Salazar (Chair)
  • Jennifer Granholm (Co-Chair)
  • Ann O’Leary (co-Executive Director)
  • Ed Meier (co-Executive Director)
  • Heather Bousey (Chief Economist)
  • Neera Tanden
  • Maggie Williams
  • Matt Lee-Ashley
  • Michael Ettlinger (volunteer)
  • Danny Schwaber
  • Rev. Leah Daughtry
  • Carlos Monje
  • Tom Donilon

  • Chris Christie (Chairman)
  • Rich Bagger (Executive Director)
  • Ron Nicol (Director of Agency Action)
  • Jeffrey Eisenach
  • Ed Meese
  • Mike McKenna
  • Myron Ebell
  • David Eagles, director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service, talked with Tom Temin about the days ahead. [Federal News Radio]
  • Tal Kopan reported on potential staff for the White House and Cabinet from inside and outside of the Clinton and Trump campaigns. [CNN]
  • Andrew Restuccia reported that the Clinton team has six candidates for Interior Secretary. [Politico]
  • Icebergs ahead for Senate confirmations in a polarized Washington. [Federal News Radio]
  • Kenneth Corbin reported on what the election might mean to federal information technology initiatives and leadership, from modernization to procurement reform. []
  • Alec McGillis looks at the relationship of Wall Street and a potential Clinton administration. [ProPublica]


  • The Office of Government Ethics issued a final rule on November with new mandatory requirements for executive ethics programs that will go into effect on January 1, 2017. As Nicole Ogrysko reports, “new political appointees must receive individual ethics briefings within the first 15 days of their appointment, the rule said. Most new hires must receive formal ethics training within the first three months of employment.” [Federal News Radio]
  • Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge signaled Monday that he’s not inclined to agree to a timetable for the release of FBI-recovered Hillary Clinton emails that could have the records dribbling out over the next five years.”  [Politico]
  • Speaking of the FBI, Richard Pollock is reporting that a field office in Arkansas is conducting a probe of the Clinton Foundation. [Daily Caller]


  • San Francisco is documenting thousands of open data fields and publishing them on a dashboard. [DataSF]
  • AP: “A Vermont judge has ruled a private contractor managing medical records for the state has to follow the state’s public records law.” [SFGate]
  • Secretaries of State are being lobbied more, with an eye towards influencing ballot initiatives. [ProPublica]


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