Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.
Here is the week's first look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- Democratic politicians have assaulted Republicans over their use of "unlimited secret money" in recent days. At the same time, the party has been working to build their infrastructure to compete with Republicans in the unlimited money race. (Politico)
- So far this election cycle super PACs have been most well known for their negative ad attacks. But, they are beginning to participate in other activities including phone banking, field organizing, polling, and other operations more closely associated with traditional campaigns. Not all candidates are happy about this. (Politico)
- Senator John McCain, a longtime champion of stronger campaign finance rules, attacked the Supreme Court and guaranteed that the influx of unlimited, barely regulated money would lead to scandal. (National Journal)
- A new report found that at least 5 former lawmakers have collected lobbying fees from organizations that they secured earmarks for while in office. (CREW)
- The Obama campaign is sticking to its policy of not accepting donations from registered lobbyists by returning five checks totaling $2,250. The Center for Responsive Politics first shed light on the donations. (The Hill)
- Retired General James Cartwright, who was previously America's second-highest ranking military officer, is joining the board of directors at Raytheon, a major defense contractor. (POGO)
- Ethiopian journalist and blogger, Eskinder Nega, has been detained by authorities at least 7 times in the past twenty years. Most recently in September 2011, when he was jailed for publishing a column calling for the government to respect freedom of speech and assembly. (Committee to Protect Journalists)
- Twitter's announcement that they could censor tweets in specific nations where the content might break laws was met with outrage from many around the globe. But, one country, Thailand, has come out in support of the policy. Thailand has blocked more than 1,156 websites for "anti-monarchy" content since December. (AP/Yahoo)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/30-2/3:
- H.R. 3041, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act. Judiciary. Fri. 2/3. 9:30 am. 2141 RHOB. Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial, and Administrative Law.
Relevant bills introduced:
- Can Media Development Make Aid More Effective? NED, CIMA, Internews. Mon. 1/30. 12:00-2:00 pm. 1025 F Street, NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.
- How Digital Cameras Reduced Election Fraud in Afghanistan: A Field Experiment. CGD. Tues. 1/31. 10:00-1:30 pm. Center for Global Development, 1800 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC.
- A Question of Integrity: Politics, Ethics and the Supreme Court (Documentary). Woman's National Democratic Club. Tues. 1/31. 11:30 am - 2:00 pm. 1526 New Hampshire Ave, NW Washington, DC 20036.
- Cyberspace and the State. IISS-US. Tues. 1/31. 1:45-3:00 pm. 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20037.
- Another Storm Brewing Over Potential UN Regulation of the Internet. Hudson. Wed. 2/1. 12:00-1:30 pm. Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center, Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street, NW, sixth floor, Washington, DC 20005.
- Legislative Data and Transparency Conference. House of Representatives. Thurs. 2/2. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Cannon Caucus Room, 345 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC.
- [email protected]: Real-Time Awareness (Day 1 of 2). [email protected] Fri. 2/3. 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. The George Washington University, 805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.