Today in OpenGov: Rocky reentry


Editors note: After a welcome vacation followed by a very unwelcome later summer cold, your intrepid editor is back in action and ready to bring you all the day's OpenGov news! Today, we've got an abbreviated look at some of the many stories you may have missed over the past couple of weeks. Tomorrow, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Now, read on for all the latest from the White House, Capitol Hill, states and cities across the United States, and around the world. 

states and cities

  • Celebrating Sunlight's newly launched Open Data Policy Hub! The Open Data Policy Hub is a “one-stop shop” for drafting, crafting, and enacting open data policy. You can learn more on the Sunlight Foundation blog and explore one of the Hub's key features in this post from Greg Jordan-Detamore.
  • Some Texans are using outdated flood risk maps as they try to rebuild following Hurricane Harvey. (Government Executive)
  • Atlanta celebrates meeting its self imposed deadline to launch a budget transparency portal. (Government Technology)
  • A new partnership between the National League of Cities and Results for America aims to train cities to leverage data and evidence to solve local problems. (Government Technology)
  • California's net neutrality bill, dubbed a "gold standard" by some, is close to becoming law. (Ars Technica)
  • The Show-Me State wants to show you its public checkbook with this new website. (St. Louis Public Radio)
  • This former Senate candidate's father was indicted on charges that he illegally supported his daughter's campaign to the tune of $218,000. (Bloomberg)

washington watch

By the time this handwritten filing made its way to the public via the FEC's online database it had been inaccurately transcribed to show a $613,638 reimbursement for gas. Image via Center for Public Integrity. 
  • Senate campaign finance data has issues with quality. Why? It's still submitted on paper and manually converted for online public disclosure. (Center for Public Integrity)
  • We joined a coalition urging the House of Representatives to prohibit lawmakers from serving on the boards of publicly traded companies. (Issue One)
  • John Kyl, who was tapped to fill John McCain's Senate seat, has been a registered lobbyist since 2015 and may face voting conflicts. (Sludge)
  • The House Ethics Committee launched an inquiry into allegations that Rep. Rod Blum failed to disclose ownership in a new company in violation of ethics rules. (Roll Call)
  • This former federal official who boosted private prisons walked through the revolving door into a top job at one of the biggest private prison companies. (Government Executive)
  • Two Republican Members of Congress have been indicted on corruption charges in recent weeks and President Trump isn't too happy with his attorney general. (The Atlantic)
  • Twitter expanded its disclosure rules to include advertisements on public policy issues ahead of the midterm elections. (Bloomberg) Twitter's efforts mirror those of Facebook with one important difference. Media outlets are exempt. (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Facebook and Twitter executives appeared in front of Congressional committees yesterday to discuss how they are handling fake news, misinformation, foreign meddling, and accusations of political bias. (Wired) The executives appeared to agree with Senators that regulation mat be necessary, but were careful to point out that it would have to be the "right" kind. (Federal Computer Week)
  • 32 members of Congress own stock in Facebook, Twitter, or Google. (Roll Call)


Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
  • Lynn Walsh's latest look at Trump administration conflicts highlights the Trump Organization CFO's immunity, the shuttering of Ivanka's brand website, the President's interest in the FBI headquarters, and more. (Sunlight Foundation)
  • Former Sunlighter Alex Howard checked in on the White House's delayed Open Government Partnership Action Plan asking, "can stakeholders and activists take this White House at its word that it is sincerely interested in advancing open data and open government policy?" The answer is mixed. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Associate of Paul Manafort takes plea deal, admits he helped funnel foreign money to President Trump's inauguration. (POLITICO)
  • President Trump's latest argument against the emoluments suit over his Washington Hotel? I don't know who stays there or how much they spend. (Bloomberg)
  • After protesters disrupted the first day of confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court Pick, Trump questioned why protests are allowed to happen in America. (Washington Post)
  • After the New York Times published an editorial by an anonymous Trump administration official, the President demanded the Times share the author's identity for "National Security purposes." (New York Times)

around the world

A screenshot from the OpenSpending platform.
  • Myanmar sentenced two Reuters journalists to 7 years in jail. (Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara is a suspect in a bribery case, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)
  • How OpenSpending and the [Open] Fiscal Data Package can help transparently and openly publish spending and budget data. (Open Knowledge)
  • Rudy Giuliani has been critical of Romania's anticorruption efforts. Turns out he was being paid to do so. (POLITICO)
  • mySociety will hold its next edition of TicTec, its conference on the Impacts of Civic Technology, in Paris on March 19-20, 2019. (mySociety)
  • Licensing fees are raising the costs of journalism and threatening media freedom in Mozambique. (Global Voices)
  • The European Commission defended its pick for secretary-general following a European Ombudsman report critical of the process behind the decision. (POLITICO)


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