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Today in OpenGov: Trump restarts big fundraising, how to build a better FOIA, and Wichita’s open data

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 14:02
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By The Sunlight Foundation

OPEN BAGS: Extending an item from Sunlight’s Political Party Time, Drew Doggett notes that “Trump’s national finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, announced Oct. 25 that Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that can raise huge sums of money, will cease formal fundraising operations. While the campaign will continue to take in individual donations, Mnuchin claimed they stopped hosting official fundraisers and soliciting big donors. But today, the Trump National Doral Hotel in Miami hosted a fundraiser for the Victory Fund with Donald Trump in attendance, according to an invitation obtained by the Miami Herald.” [READ MORE]

FOIA.GOV 2.0: Over the past year, we’ve explored different ways that FOIA could work better without more legislative action in Congress. Here’s a specific breakdown how to use the reformed law to fix FOIA, from how the remade statute can be leveraged to drive positive change to an affirmative vision for a new [READ MORE] CAMPAIGN 2016

  • Perception appears to matter more than reality in the post-factual environment of the 2016 campaign. [Washington Post]
  • President Barack Obama weighed in on the firestorm over the FBI’s disclosure of more potentially relevant email to its investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today, criticizing Director Comey in an interview with Now This. Video is embedded below.

    “Setting aside the particulars of this case, I know that [Hillary Clinton] is somebody who has always looked out for the interests of America and the American people first, and I do think that there is a norm that when there are investigations, we don’t operate on innuendo, we don’t operate on incomplete information, we don’t operate on leaks, we operate based on concrete decisions that are made. When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that, you know, she had made some mistakes, but that there wasn’t anything there that was, you know, prosecutable.”

  • The GOP, FBI, FOIA suits, hackers and Wikileaks have made Clinton the most transparent candidate in history. [Vox]
  • More leaks: the FBI is reportedly investigating an alleged illegal donation scheme involving a wealthy Saudi family and Democratic Florida Senate Candidate Rep. Patrick Murphy. [The Hill]
  • If a nation’s justice system, law enforcement or intel agencies get involved in electoral processes, more than an election outcome is at risk. [The Atlantic]

NATIONAL Infographic by the Office of Government Information Services explaining the Freedom of Information Act [Infographic by the Office of Government Information Services explaining the Freedom of Information Act]

  • As committed to the Third U.S. Open Government National Action Plan and its 2016 Open Government Plan, the National Archives is working on educating the public about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Office of Government Information Services, AKA the federal FOIA ombudsman, developed the infographic you see above to explain the law and process. Please share it with teachers, libraries and publishers! [OGIS]
  • The Brennan Center published a new report on secret law in the United States. “An unprecedented buildup of secret law has been created by the federal government since 9/11 through legal memos, court opinions, agreements with foreign nations, and more. All have been issued without public scrutiny or input — and many impact crucial decisions about the lives and liberties of U.S. citizens, from the use of torture to mass surveillance. See the Freedom of Information Act documents referenced in this report and a chart of significant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions here.” [Brennan Center]


  • Mike Mayta explains how Wichita approached building an open data practice that met community needs. [READ MORE]


  • The Government of Australia has released a draft of Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan for public consultation! If you live Down Under, please weigh in! [OGPAU]
  • The transparency provided by a new online system that mandates Ukrainian government officials to declare their assets is drawing a lot of public attention, particularly with respect to how much hard currency politicians have. [Guardian]


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