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Tag Archive: Ed Markey

Temporary Massachusetts senator an active political donor

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William CowanWilliam Cowan, a Massachusetts lawyer who will take John Kerry's place in the Senate until a special election can be held to replace the Bay State Democrat, about to become the next secretary of state, has donated more than $36,000 to candidates for state and federal office, according to data downloaded from Sunlight's Influence Explorer.

All of the recipients of Cowan's largesse were Democrats with two notable exceptions: In 2002, he made a donation of $200 to Republican Mitt Romney. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee was then running what would turn out to be a successful ...

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Just How Bad Is it?

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It looks as if the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) could use Sunlight's database expertise.

Wired.com writes about a GAO report issued earlier this week that blasts the agency for doing an "appalling job" of tracking, responding and resolving complaints regarding telecommunications services. GAO's report states:

Limitations in FCC's current approach for collecting and analyzing enforcement data constitute the principal challenge FCC faces in providing complete and accurate information on its enforcement program... Limitations in FCC's current approach for collecting and analyzing enforcement data constitute the principal challenge FCC faces in providing complete and accurate information on its enforcement program.

Rep. Ed Markey, chair of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, requested the investigation that focused on the agency's enforcement efforts between 2003 and 2006.

How bad is it? Bad.

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Global Warming Committee Brings Public into the Committee Room

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Update: You can watch Markey ask a question from the online community here and here

More and more members of Congress are using the Web to reach out to public constituencies to bring them into the processes in Congress. We saw this back in August when Sen. Dick Durbin went to the blog OpenLeft to discuss crafting a national broadband bill with members of the public. Yesterday, Rep. Ed Markey, the chairman of the Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence, posted a diary on the blog Daily Kos soliciting questions and concerns from the community to be used in a committee hearing on the California wild fires today.

By adding a public element to the hearing the committee was able to create buzz in the environmental community and further open committee operations, which are the backbone of legislative activity, to the public. This will hopefully become a more regular activity among committee chairs and other members as they seek to use the Web to bring thoughtful and intelligent members of the general public in to help provide information outside of the normal think tank/lobbyist channels.

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Governmental Blogging

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Here's an interesting new report -- The Blogging Revolution: Government in the Age of Web 2.0. Think of it as a kind of "Blogging for Dummies" without the humor. (No disrespect to the author or to the "...for Dummies" series.)

This report could be very helpful to any Member of Congress, mayor, state legislator, bureaucrat, corporate CEO who is looking to get an understanding of blogging and Web 2.0. In a straightforward and non-threatening manner, the report explains the Web; its history, its now, and its future. It also attempts to encourage decision makers to engage this brave new world. In common language, the author explains everything from how to start a blog, to social networking, to why blog in the first place. And he makes the case that Web 2.0 tools can increase civic engagement and strengthen our democracy.

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Rep. Markey Takes to YouTube

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In a first for Congress, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) took a video camera and filmed the first user created video from the perspective of a Congressional Committee Chairman. This is an amazing step in the right direction for Congress as they grapple with adopting to new mediums of communication and new technology. Also, I'm glad that Rep. Markey has decided to embed his YouTube video on his member web site and push the envelope as David All and I suggest in the Open House Project section on Member Web Use Restrictions.

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