Today in OpenGov: In Case You Missed It


Editor's note: After a summer break, we're back with all the latest in #OpenGov news. In today's edition, we'll do our best to quickly cover all the major stories you might have missed while we were away. Tomorrow, we'll get back to our usual mix of news and analysis from the world of open government. 

Money and power

  • A liberal dark money network is spending millions to attack House Republicans ahead of the midterm elections. (POLITICO) But, Democratic candidates who rely too heavily on big donors will face pressure to disavow donations from lobbyists and corporate PACs. (Roll Call) Meanwhile, liberal activists are embracing dark money as they fight Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Nomination. (Washington Post)
  • The Governor of Montana is suing the IRS over an attempt to ease disclosure rules for politically active nonprofits. (New York Times)
  • Raising as much money as possible is the main priority for House leadership on both sides of the aisle this August. (POLITICO)
  • Newly introduced legislation would strengthen lobbying disclosure rules. (POLITICO) Unsurprisingly, lobbying groups quickly came out against it. 

washington watch


  • Amazon's new facial recognition software misidentified 28 members of Congress as criminals in a test run by the ACLU. (Ars Technica)
  • For the first time ever, the NSA Inspector General publicly released a version of its semi-annual report. (Government Executive)
  • According to a new GAO report, most agencies submitted inaccurate and incomplete spending data for Q2 2017 under the DATA Act. (Executive Gov) You can read the full report here
  • Rep. Scott Garrett (R-VA) is the target of probes by multiple ethics offices. (POLITICO)
  • Journalists are chafing as the Pentagon increasingly restricts access and information. (POLITICO)
  • Legislation to modernize grant management data gets a hearing in the House. (Data Coalition)
  • Political data firm FiscalNote is buying CQ Roll Call from the Economist Group. ( DC

states and cities

  • Virginia is getting its first Chief Data Officer. (Government Technology)
  • Following reporting on drug industry influence, Arizona will boost transparency around state Medicaid system. (Center for Public Integrity)
  • Despite corruption scandals tainting many allies, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn't seem to be suffering. (POLITICO)
  • A coal company executive and lawyer were convicted for bribing an Alabama state lawmaker to oppose an environmental clean-up effort. (Ars Technica)
  • Costs related to FOIA requests for Washington, D.C. police body camera footage seen as manageable in program's second year (D.C. Open Government Coalition)


ASPE’s “Affordable Care Act Research” page was altered between May 2017 and October 2017, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, and is now titled “Historical Research.”
  • How the Department of Health and Human Services' internal think tank is changing its position on previously published Affordable Care Act Research. (Sunlight Foundation)
  • We joined American Oversight and other transparency groups in opposition to Department of Justice efforts to delay FOIA compliance. (American Oversight)
  • Ivanka Trump announced that she will shut down her clothing line. (Bloomberg)
  • A judge ruled (not for the first time) that a lawsuit over the constitutionality of President Trump's ownership of a Washington, DC hotel can move forward. (BuzzFeed)
  • The White House tried to block a CNN reporter from an open press event. Here's why it's a big deal. (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Did this major donor to a pro-Trump super PAC break the law? (Bloomberg)
  • In break from precedent, the White House will no longer publish public summaries of President Trump's calls with world leaders. (CNN
  • Judge, confirming 2013 precedent, says that White House visitor logs aren't subject to FOIA. (POLITICO)
  • Lynn Walsh checked in with her latest roundup of Trump administration conflicts of interest. (Sunlight Foundation)

around the world

Image via The Atlantic.
  • In widely criticized election, Cambodia's leader is set to extend his three decade grip on power. (Bloomberg) Cambodia's independent media has already been decimated by the increasingly authoritarian government. (The Atlantic)
  • New report on global e-government shows advances while highlighting many challenges for the first time. (FedScoop)
  • Journalists in Ukraine are facing increased threats in 2018. (Global Voices)
  • Former Colombian President set to resign from the Senate amid investigation. (Bloomberg)


Tired of your boss/friend/intern/uncle forwarding you this email every morning? You can sign up here and have it delivered direct to your inbox! Please send questions, comments, tips, and concerns to We would love your feedback!