With more and more civil society organizations in the open government universe recognizing that “thorny issues” -- such as political finance transparency or surveillance -- need to be tackled somewhat more vehemently, we are eager to seize the momentum and start a hopefully constructive dialogue around an embarrassingly under- or unregulated area: lobbying disclosure. A few weeks back, with the support of our friends at the Open Knowledge Foundation, we took the first steps to create a community of interested advocates, activists and academics, and launched a public working group around the world of influence.
Today, we are excited to announce our draft lobbying disclosure guidelines and invite the community to provide input on these recommendations.Continue reading
Sunlight Teaming Up With the Open Knowledge Foundation to Create New Lobbying Transparency Working Group
The Sunlight Foundation and the Open Knowledge Foundation are teaming up to convene a new global group on lobbying transparency. We want... View ArticleContinue reading
Suggestions for the OGP National Action Plan
The Obama Administration is expected to release the second version of its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan this fall. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is the primary multi-national initiative for open government, founded in 2011. The original US plan, released on September 20, 2011, covered a lot of ground, but also suffered a lack of detail and ignored several of the most pressing transparency issues. (Both money in politics and national security went uncovered.)
Given the US’s leadership role in the world (and in OGP), and the variety of issues the country faces, we hope the US National Action Plan will demonstrate how an administration can use transparency reform to help address some of the most fundamental challenges it faces.
The following are four Sunlight priorities for the upcoming US National Action Plan, and are priorities that we’ve often repeated to White House officials in our work.Continue reading
Why Promontory matters
Today’s New York Times looks into the case of Promontory Financial Group, a self-described “leading strategy, risk management and regulatory compliance consulting firm focusing primarily on the financial services industry.” What’s notable, according to the Times is that:
Nearly two-thirds of its roughly 170 senior executives worked at agencies that oversee the financial industry. The founder, Eugene A. Ludwig, is a former comptroller of the currency and a law school friend of Bill Clinton; the latest hire, Mary L. Schapiro, ran the Securities and Exchange Commission until late last year.
Building off those connections, the Promontory Financial Group has emerged as a major power broker in Washington, helping Wall Street navigate an onslaught of new rules and regulatory scrutiny. Promontory accompanied Morgan Stanley when the bank urged regulators to rethink limits on risky trading, records show. It also joined Bank of America, Citigroup and other big banks at the Treasury Department to discuss plans for dismantling failing financial firms.
Using Sunlight’s Dodd-Frank meeting logs tracker, the Times found ten instances where firm executives met with regulators to discuss “thorny issues like the so-called Volcker Rule that curbs risky trading.”Continue reading
Survey says: congressional staffers want more online communications with lobbyists
When it comes to being lobbied, the results are clear: congressional staffers want to be e-mailed. According to the new... View ArticleContinue reading
“The People Rule”- Can it be more than a motto?
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the... View ArticleContinue reading
Jack Abramoff’s Obstruction of Lobbying Reform
Jack Abramoff left Washington to serve his prison sentence as a primary perpetrator and beneficiary of its culture of corruption.... View ArticleContinue reading
Only a Smarter Congress Can Make Better Internet Policy
Recent calls for technologists to hire lobbyists to educate Washington on internet issues miss a significant part of the big... View ArticleContinue reading
Establishing Lobbying Regulation Norms on the State Level
While most of our lobbying reform efforts are targeted at the federal level, looking at different state lobbying regulations can... View ArticleContinue reading
A State by State Look at Lobbyist Disclosure
by Eric Dunn, Sunlight policy intern All 50 states require lobbyists to disclose some information about their work. Some require... View ArticleContinue reading