Today in OpenGov: Catch Up If You Can


Editor's Note: Your editor was out sick on Friday so, with a ton of worthwhile news to share from the unintended long weekend, we're taking a slightly different approach to today's roundup. We hope you enjoy (if you don't, consider sending us some constructive feedback at! 

In today's edition, Congress reforms the way they handle harassment, we look at a week's worth of Trump administration conflicts, a bomb explodes outside of a Greek TV station, New Jersey Democrats pull back on a controversial redistricting plan, and much more. 

But first, please take a moment to read this update from our Executive Director John Wonderlich on Sunlight's organizational review process. 

washington watch

Image via Issue One.
  • The House and Senate passed legislation to reform how Congress handles sexual harassment. (POLITICO)
  • Representatives introduced bipartisan legislation to increase disclosure and accountability of political spending. (Issue One)
  • The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee faced backlash after buying Raytheon stock while pushing for increased military spending. (New York Times)
  • A report, prepared for the Senate, is first to analyze millions of social media posts in relation to Russian election interference. (Washington Post)
  • This freshman representative hasn't taken office yet, but he's already mired in campaign finance controversy. (NPR)
  • After controversy over lobbyists at Harvard event, lawmakers push for review of events for incoming members of Congress. (Washington Post)
  • The FEC voted to allow lawmakers to spend leftover campaign funds on cybersecurity for their Congressional offices. (Federal Computer Week)
  • Former presidential candidate Jill Stein owes the FEC $53,000 for consistently submitting campaign finance reports late. Why hasn't she paid? (Center for Public Integrity)
  • The GAO's latest review of highlights need for improved search, data quality disclosures. (NextGov) You can read the GAO's whole report here
  • Is the federal government's website for bioterrorism response leaking sensitive data? (Defense One)
  • The FBI is refusing to answer FOIA requests about how it answers FOIA requests. (MuckRock) Meanwhile, they are also looking for a contractor to help them burn 53 tons of classified documents. (Quartz)
  • Maria Butina plead guilty to acting as a Russian agent, working to influence U.S. policy during 2016 election. (POLITICO)


  • Ryan Zinke will be out as head of the Interior Department by the end of the year amid various ethics investigations. (BuzzFeed) His likely replacement, at least temporarily, is a former oil lobbyist. (New York Times)
  • Reports indicate that President Trump was the third person present during a hush money discussion between Michael Cohen and the National Inquirer. (NBC News)
  • President Trump's super PAC and inaugural fund are reportedly being scrutinized for potentially accepting foreign donations. (New York Times)
  • When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner went on vacation last year it cost taxpayers nearly $60,000. (Quartz)
  • The White House is hoping to stand up a government modernization research center in 2019. (NextGov)
  • The latest Trump conflicts include Michael Cohen, Rudy Giuliani, and Jared Kushner. (Sunlight Foundation)

states and cities

Image via the Sunlight Foundation.
  • Learn more about Sunlight's modular approach to Tactical Data Engagement. (Sunlight Foundation)
  • California is embarking on an ambitious project to embrace open source technology. (Government Technology)
  • Outgoing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) signed legislation that would limit his successor's powers. Multiple groups immediately moved to challenge the law in court. (POLITICO)
  • After facing widespread backlash, New Jersey Democrats backed down on a proposal to enshrine partisan gerrymandering in the state constitution. (
  • The former president of an upstate New York university was sentenced to more than 3 years in jail for a corruption scheme. (The Buffalo News)

around the world

Map via the World Bank.
  • The World Bank is adding energy data to its open data catalog. (World Bank Data Blog)
  • Following telephoned warning, a bomb exploded outside a Greek TV station overnight. No injuries were reported. (POLITICO)
  • Despite protests, Romania's ruling party is considering giving amnesty and pardons to corrupt officials. (Bloomberg)
  • London police are conducting the latest in a series of facial recognition trials this week. (Ars Technica)


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