Posts tagged with ‘sunlight’

House Republicans Blocking Transparency in Political Advertising →

During the 2012 elections it’s estimated that political parties, campaigns and their advocates (eg., Super PACs) will spend over $3 billion on television advertising. While stations are required to keep records of who’s purchasing what, transparency advocates have urged the FCC to require broadcasters to make that information easily available online (currently, any citizen can go the physical station and ask to see the paper documents).

In April, the FCC agreed despite opposition from broadcasters and issued new rules to make it so starting in July.

Now, however, Republican lawmakers are blocking implementation of the rules by refusing to allow funding for them.

Via ProPublica:

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., chair of the financial services and general government subcommittee of the House appropriations committee, added language to an appropriations bill ordering that no funds to be used to implement the disclosure rule. The bill, which passed the subcommittee Wednesday, funds the FCC and other agencies for fiscal year 2013.

The move by Emerson adds another question mark to the process of creating an FCC website with political ad data. At a subcommittee hearing Wednesday, a Democratic amendment to remove the Emerson language was defeated on a party line vote.

ProPublica reports that Democrats will try to strip the language when the full appropriations committee considers the bill. Also fortunate, “Even if the measure to block the FCC from funding the political ad rule passes the House, it still has to get through the Democrat-controlled Senate and be signed by President Obama, whose administration has supported the transparency rule.”

Our backgrounder on political advertising and broadcaster transparency is here.

Chicago Lobbyists
ChicagoLobbyists.org is a great example of what can be done with open data: create a Web app that increases governmental transparency and informs citizens about a key aspect of contemporary governance.
From the creators:
What is this?
ChicagoLobbyists.org is an open data, open government, and open source project intended to improve the transparency of interactions between the City of Chicago and lobbyists and their clients. All data comes from the City of Chicago Data Portal.
Who built it?
This is a project by Chad Pry, Derek Eder, Paul Baker and Ryan Briones. It started on July 16th, 2011 at the Google Hackathon with some amazing help from Chirag Patel, Ruthie BenDor and Nick Rougeux. Paul noticed the lobbyist data, conceived the project, and got the team together. Chad and Ryan did the bulk of the backend development with help from Derek and Chirag. Derek and Ruthie did the frontend development. Nick and Paul worked on the user interface prototypes.

Would be great to see this on a state by state and federal level.

Chicago Lobbyists

ChicagoLobbyists.org is a great example of what can be done with open data: create a Web app that increases governmental transparency and informs citizens about a key aspect of contemporary governance.

From the creators:

What is this?

ChicagoLobbyists.org is an open data, open government, and open source project intended to improve the transparency of interactions between the City of Chicago and lobbyists and their clients. All data comes from the City of Chicago Data Portal.

Who built it?

This is a project by Chad Pry, Derek Eder, Paul Baker and Ryan Briones. It started on July 16th, 2011 at the Google Hackathon with some amazing help from Chirag Patel, Ruthie BenDor and Nick Rougeux. Paul noticed the lobbyist data, conceived the project, and got the team together. Chad and Ryan did the bulk of the backend development with help from Derek and Chirag. Derek and Ruthie did the frontend development. Nick and Paul worked on the user interface prototypes.

Would be great to see this on a state by state and federal level.

When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks—more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined. The Drake case is one of two that Obama’s Justice Department has carried over from the Bush years.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative political scientist at the Hudson Institute, who, in his book “Necessary Secrets” (2010), argues for more stringent protection of classified information, says, “Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history—even more so than Nixon.”
sunfoundation:

The Top Secret Network of Government and Its Contractors

The visualization is an interactive from the Washington Post.

sunfoundation:

The Top Secret Network of Government and Its Contractors

The visualization is an interactive from the Washington Post.