Today in OpenGov: Grilling season.


In today's edition, following a day off on Friday, we share a load of links including a grilling for President Trump's nominee for Interior Secretary, lobbyists failing to disclose their political contributions, good news and bad news out of Gambia, and more. 

washington watch

Image via Pixabay. 
  • The 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are torn about how to approach big money donors… (New York Times)
  • …On that note, it's important to remember that shunning corporate PACs, as a growing number of candidates have pledged to do, won't keep corporate influence out of elections. (Sludge + Truthout)
  • Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly tried to keep a university from disclosing his speaking fee, citing "trade secrets." (BuzzFeed)
  • A political group with close ties to the Koch brothers couldn't convince an appeals court to take a broader look at their effort to keep California donors private.  (POLITICO)
  • New GAO report finds that one-third of lobbyist disclosures are missing political contribution information. (The Hill) Read the whole report here
  • It looks like the DEA failed to get proper permission before gathering bulk telecommunications data. (Government Executive)
  • Bipartisan group introduces legislation to end bulk collection of US phone data by the NSA. (The Hill)
  • Only one-third of federal agencies are sending electronic records to NARA ahead of a deadline later this year. (NextGov)
  • Is there tension between efforts to fight political disinformation and the First Amendment? (Washington Post)


A protestor wearing a "swamp monster" mask at David Bernhardt's confirmation hearing.A protestor wearing a "swamp monster" mask at David Bernhardt's confirmation hearing. Image via DOI Swamp Monster.
  • David Bernhardt, President Trump's pick to head the Interior Department, faced ethics questions at his Senate confirmation hearing, but appears likely to be confirmed. (NPR)
  • Emails show the acting head of the FAA coordinating policy with former lobbyist-colleagues. (Government Executive)
  • Attorney General William Barr says he will release a redacted version of the special counsel report on Russian election interference by mid-April. (New York Times)
  • Coal executive Joe Craft is set to get even closer to the White House with his wife poised to be the next US ambassador to the UN. (POLITICO)
  • One of President Trump's top political appointees has steered millions of taxpayer dollars towards GOP consultants to burnish her brand while in office. (POLITICO)
  • President Trump has made 9,451 false or misleading claims over 801 days. (Washington Post)
  • The latest Trump administration conflicts include President Trump's inflated net worth, Trump Tower Moscow, new emolumental issues, and more. (Sunlight Foundation)

around the world

Zuzana Čaputová will be the next President of Slovakia. Zuzana Čaputová will be the next president of Slovakia. 
  • Lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and political newcomer Zuzana Čaputová wins Slovakia's presidential election.  (POLITICO)
  • Fake news continues to cause problems ahead of upcoming Indian elections. (Global Voices)
  • Gambia's former leader Yahya Jammeh embezzled more than $350 million in public money during his 20 years in power… (Bloomberg)
  • …Meanwhile, Gambia is improving in press freedom rankings and producing a new class of journalists. (Columbia Journalist Review)
  • Facebook's leaders and top lobbyists are calling for global web regulations. (Bloomberg)


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