Today in OpenGov: Sunshine coming for online ads?


In today's edition, we keep up with the latest efforts to reform online political ad disclosure, track President Trump's campaign fundraising efforts, share lessons that city planning can teach about open data, and more. 

washington watch

  • Google and Facebook are looking to influence online political ad disclosure legislation. "Google and Facebook are looking to make an early imprint on legislation being drafted in the House and Senate that would force them and other online networks to disclose information about the buyers of political ads." (POLITICO) Sunlight has been working on this topic for quite some time and believe that strong disclosure for online ads is necessary. 
  • How reduced online access to federal scientific information damages democracy. Sunlight Fellows Toly Rinberg and Andrew Bergman explored how "the Web resources and information that the government has long provided to help inform us about climate change, the social cost of carbon, and the Clean Power Plan itself have been disappearing from federal websites. For members of the public looking to learn about the science and the policy analyses that underlie years of rulemaking and debate, the sources have become harder to find." This information loss has the potential to inhibit informed public comment on future government rule making. (The Sunlight Foundation)
  • This former Florida Congressman is running from the FEC as well as a seat in the State House. "While former congressman David Rivera runs for the Florida House, he is also running from the U.S. Marshals Service. The U.S. Marshals have attempted to serve the Miami Republican with a summons tied to a Federal Election Commission lawsuit since July, but have been unable to find him. He's also running for an open 2018 Florida House seat." (POLITICO)


Image via Free Pictures of Money on Flickr
  • President Trump's re-election campaign is ramping up its fundraising efforts. Ashley Balcerzak and Dave Levinthal explore the Trump campaign's most recent filings, noting that "Trump is racing forward with unprecedented haste to win re-election in 2020. He’s conducting campaign rallies and raising millions of dollars in cash despite no one of stature — save, perhaps, for Rep. John Delaney, (D-MD.) — yet running against him." (The Center for Public Integrity)
  • Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is still shelling out big bucks for legal support. "Trump’s campaign paid $1.1 million for legal services from July to September, up from $677,827 in the second quarter and $249,344 in the first, according to the disclosures. The bulk went to Jones Day, the campaign’s law firm, and $25,885 was paid to the Trump Corporation, now run by Trump Jr. and his brother, Eric," reports Bill Allison. More than $230,000 went to the lawyer representing Donald Trump Jr. in the ongoing Russia investigation. (Bloomberg

states and cities

A slide from Stephen Larrick's CityCampNC keynote. You can download the presentation as a PDF or Google Slides
  • What city planning taught Sunlight's Stephen Larrick about open data. A few weeks ago, Sunlight's Open Cities Director Stephen Larrick spoke at CityCamp North Carolina about how his stint as Director of Planning and Economic Development for a small, fiscally struggling city in Rhode Island helped him learn how to meet community needs through participatory means. Those lessons are still informing his work on open data today. You can read more and watch the video from Stephen's talk right here
  • A lawmaker in Indiana is floating a bill to license journalists. "Indiana State Rep. Jim Lucas has drafted legislation that would require professional journalists to be licensed by police. The Republican lawmaker is taking aim at journalists for what he says is 'irresponsible' coverage, proposing that they are fingerprinted and licensed to practice." (The Hill)

around the world

  • Transparency demanded for reports on Brexit's impact on British economy. Last week, The Good Law Project, an anti-Brexit group, "said they would sue the British government if it fails to release internal reports into the impact of leaving the European Union on different parts of the economy." (Bloomberg)
  • A look at the political scandal shaking South Africa. Gabriele Steinhauser digs into the connections between a family run business empire and South African President Jacob Zuma that have ensnared international firms including KPMG, McKinsey, and SAP and are shaking the country's politics. (Wall Street Journal)


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