Freedom of Information

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  • Clinton Emails and the FOIA

    The FOIA blog
    scott hodes
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:19 am
    The Daily Caller has this on previous FOIA requests for Hillary Clinton's e-mails while serving as Secretary of State.  The response, per the article, was that no records existed.  This was likely because FOIA staff had no idea where to look. This is yet another example of why strong FOIA and records management leadership is needed in all of the government.  The President issued guidelines on both, but they have been largely ignored by agencies because no one is enforcing his statements.  A records management/FOIA tsar is badly needed (and it was…
  • California free speech roundup: Uproar over display of swastika on Sacramento house

    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion
    donal brown
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Neighbors and public elected officers are calling for a Sacramento homeowner to remove displays of swastikas on his house. The state senator representing the area expressed support for the First Amendment but said the display was repugnant, invoking memories of the atrocities of the Holocaust. (Sacramento Bee, February 27, 2015, by Bill Lindelof) Bruce Maiman, […]
  • Bateman’s retooled bill to raise fines for open meeting law violations wins support

    IDOG
    IDOG
    17 Feb 2015 | 1:47 pm
    The House State Affairs Committee gave a far different reception this morning to Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, for his new version of legislation to raise the fines for violations of the Idaho Open Meeting Law. Bateman modified his proposal to raise the fines from the current $50 to $250; and from the current $500 to $1,500 for knowing violations, and to $2,500 for repeated knowing violations. From Eye on Boise/The Spokesman-Review
  • West Coast, East Coast: Silicon Valley Blurs the Distinction With Washington Presence

    OpenSecrets Blog
    Clark Mindock
    6 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    (Tau Zero via Flickr) Silicon Valley has staked its claim in Washington. From Capitol Hill to the White House, tech money is everywhere — and 2016 looks like it will be the industry’s biggest year yet. Tech may not be pushing as much cash into politics as Wall Street, but its influence is on an upward climb. Its lobbying has grown by more than $100 million since 1998 to meet the demands of an ever-expanding list of interests. Similarly, over 25 years, contributions from the industry have grown by almost 2,000 percent. So the path to the presidency runs right through the Valley,…
  • Knight News Challenge seeks new ideas to increase civic participation around elections

    Sunlight Foundation Blog
    Jenn Topper
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
    Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx The Knight Foundation just launched its annual Knight News Challenge, posing the question: "How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?" The News Challenge, which closes on March 19, offers grants totaling more than $3 million to innovative ideas to help solve problems around civic participation. Sunlight President Chris Gates offered his own thoughts on the question over at the Knight Foundation blog, highlighting transparency as key to increasing participation. From his post: We believe that more…
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    The FOIA blog

  • Clinton Emails and the FOIA

    scott hodes
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:19 am
    The Daily Caller has this on previous FOIA requests for Hillary Clinton's e-mails while serving as Secretary of State.  The response, per the article, was that no records existed.  This was likely because FOIA staff had no idea where to look. This is yet another example of why strong FOIA and records management leadership is needed in all of the government.  The President issued guidelines on both, but they have been largely ignored by agencies because no one is enforcing his statements.  A records management/FOIA tsar is badly needed (and it was…
  • EPA Ripped In FOIA Opinion

    scott hodes
    3 Mar 2015 | 6:49 am
    Politico and the Washington Post both report that Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia ripped the EPA's handling of a FOIA request brought to it for senior level agency emails.  This opinion is an example of how badly needed FOIA leadership is needed, and has always been needed, in the government.  There is a need for someone who isn't afraid to tell non-FOIA agency personnel, no matter how high they are, that their actions are in violation of FOIA and records management principles -- and use all weapons to get transparency and records…
  • FOIA As A Business Tool

    scott hodes
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:25 am
    This article discusses businesses using FOIA as a research tool.  For those that don't know, my law practice makes requests for businesses all the time and is available to help all with their FOIA needs.
  • House to Hold Hearing on FOIA Bill

    scott hodes
    24 Feb 2015 | 10:41 am
    The House Committee on Oversight has scheduled a hearing on February 27, 2015 on FOIA reform - More information can be found on the Committee's webpage.
  • NY Times On FOIA Legislation

    scott hodes
    19 Feb 2015 | 5:53 am
    The New York Times has this editorial urging passage of FOIA legislation currently pending in Congress.
 
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    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion

  • California free speech roundup: Uproar over display of swastika on Sacramento house

    donal brown
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Neighbors and public elected officers are calling for a Sacramento homeowner to remove displays of swastikas on his house. The state senator representing the area expressed support for the First Amendment but said the display was repugnant, invoking memories of the atrocities of the Holocaust. (Sacramento Bee, February 27, 2015, by Bill Lindelof) Bruce Maiman, […]
  • Federal agencies stonewalling on zero-day exploits

    donal brown
    5 Mar 2015 | 10:48 am
    The American Civil Liberties Union reports that federal agencies are not releasing documents sought under the Freedom of Information Act about the use of zero-day exploits. As the ACLU explains, “Zero-day exploits are special software programs that take advantage of security vulnerabilities in software that are unknown to the software’s manufacturer. These exploits are frequently […]
  • California: U.S. Supreme Court upholds disclosure of backers of same-sex marriage ban

    donal brown
    5 Mar 2015 | 10:03 am
    The U.S. Supreme Court  rejected an attempt to exempt an organization promoting a California proposition banning same-sex marriage from disclosing the names of their contributors. The backers of Proposition 8, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), claimed that revealing the names would subject them to threats, hate mail and acts of violence. (San Francisco Chronicle, […]
  • Do your city councilmembers handle email better than Hillary Clinton? It’s a Legal Hotline FAQ

    1stamendmnt
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:05 pm
    For Hillary Clinton there was never any confusion whether to send an email via her private email account or her work email address because during her four years at the State Department she never used a .gov email account. Of course, the rules about how government officials were required to handle their emails were not set in stone, […]
  • Transparency suffered with Clinton’s use of private e-mails

    donal brown
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:35 pm
    Open government advocates are criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for using only her personal e-mail account to conduct government business. Under the Federal Records Act, all official correspondence must be kept as part of the public record. The only exemptions are for classified information and certain other sensitive issues. In January Clinton’s advisers […]
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    IDOG

  • Bateman’s retooled bill to raise fines for open meeting law violations wins support

    IDOG
    17 Feb 2015 | 1:47 pm
    The House State Affairs Committee gave a far different reception this morning to Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, for his new version of legislation to raise the fines for violations of the Idaho Open Meeting Law. Bateman modified his proposal to raise the fines from the current $50 to $250; and from the current $500 to $1,500 for knowing violations, and to $2,500 for repeated knowing violations. From Eye on Boise/The Spokesman-Review
  • North Idaho rep leads opposition to raising fines for Open Meeting Law violations

    IDOG
    12 Feb 2015 | 10:01 am
    When Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls, today proposed sharply increasing fines for violating the Idaho Open Meeting Law, he ran into a buzz saw of opposition from members of the House State Affairs Committee, led by Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. From The Spokesman-Review
  • Family launches fundraiser to pay for public records access

    IDOG
    3 Feb 2015 | 12:36 pm
    An eastern Idaho family has launched an online fundraising effort to help cover the estimated $1,235 cost to get public records about the Idaho State University president's residence. From the Associated Press/Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho prisons department proposes expanded execution secrecy

    IDOG
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:26 am
    Idaho lawmakers have introduced a bill that would formally expand the secrecy surrounding executions. The Senate Judiciary and Rules committee agreed Wednesday to move forward the legislation from the Idaho Department of Correction. The bill would incorporate existing department policy on confidential execution records into state law, and broaden that language to include records involving the source of lethal medications used for executions. From the Associated Press
  • Idaho cities, counties score win for government secrecy

    IDOG
    19 Jan 2015 | 7:18 am
    Idaho's public records laws are an unenforceable mess. And local governments apparently want to keep it that way. Editorial from the Twin Falls Times-News
 
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    OpenSecrets Blog

  • West Coast, East Coast: Silicon Valley Blurs the Distinction With Washington Presence

    Clark Mindock
    6 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    (Tau Zero via Flickr) Silicon Valley has staked its claim in Washington. From Capitol Hill to the White House, tech money is everywhere — and 2016 looks like it will be the industry’s biggest year yet. Tech may not be pushing as much cash into politics as Wall Street, but its influence is on an upward climb. Its lobbying has grown by more than $100 million since 1998 to meet the demands of an ever-expanding list of interests. Similarly, over 25 years, contributions from the industry have grown by almost 2,000 percent. So the path to the presidency runs right through the Valley,…
  • Jeb Bush Caps Donations at $1 Million. Umm…

    Russ Choma
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:37 pm
    Jeb Bush at a Right to Rise event Monday. (Rex Features via AP Images) Jeb Bush has reportedly asked potential donors to cap their contributions to the super PAC set up to support his 2016 presidential candidacy at $1 million — a request first reported in the Washington Post that has raised eyebrows around the campaign finance world. It’s an extraordinary request, and not just because it involves a candidate turning down money in the hyper-competitive fundraising world post-Citizens United. It’s extraordinary because the world of people who can write $1 million checks is…
  • More Members of Congress Hold Student Loan Debt

    Russ Choma
    3 Mar 2015 | 11:09 am
    Members of Congress are, on average, far wealthier than the typical American, but an increasing number of them have a now typical American financial obligation: student loan debt. Forty-seven members of Congress had a cumulative total of between $1.8 million and $4.6 million in student loan debt in 2013, according to their personal financial disclosure statements. That includes loans for themselves, their spouses or their children. The 2013 numbers — the most recent available — represent an uptick from previous years. Last year, OpenSecrets Blog found that in 2012 just 41 members…
  • AIPAC Posts Biggest Lobbying Year in 2014 as Netanyahu Goes to Congress

    Clark Mindock
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:11 pm
    Speaker Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without consulting President Obama. (BostonPeter7 via Flickr) Close to three dozen Democrats will boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, angry that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) invited the head-of-state without consulting President Obama. The rift is emblematic of the tension between the White House and hard-line supporters of Israel on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear aspirations. The Obama Administration has urged patience as it attempts to…
  • Net Neutrality Supporters Fast Facts

    Russ Choma
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:01 pm
    A profile of net neutrality’s biggest opponents is available here. Yesterday we profiled the top four opponents of net neutrality who, though the FCC’s decision to regulate the Internet as a public utility has been made, are likely to continue to play a role as the decision is contested in the courts and perhaps in Congress. Today, the other side: brief influence background facts on the biggest names supporting the FCC’s action. This is a tougher task because the interests supporting net neutrality tend to be scattered, there is a large unofficial coalition, but not all its…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Knight News Challenge seeks new ideas to increase civic participation around elections

    Jenn Topper
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
    Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx The Knight Foundation just launched its annual Knight News Challenge, posing the question: "How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?" The News Challenge, which closes on March 19, offers grants totaling more than $3 million to innovative ideas to help solve problems around civic participation. Sunlight President Chris Gates offered his own thoughts on the question over at the Knight Foundation blog, highlighting transparency as key to increasing participation. From his post: We believe that more…
  • Hillary Clinton's emails: What she can tell us right now

    Bill Allison
    5 Mar 2015 | 9:25 am
    Last night, Hillary Clinton tweeted that she wants the public to see the emails she used a secret account (the word “personal” in this context is a bit inapt) to send while she served as secretary of state, and suggested that the State Department is to blame for preventing disclosure. Let us take the all-but-announced presidential candidate at her word that there is little she can to do to expedite the release of the emails in the State Department’s possession—there is still a great number of questions she can answer now as a show of good faith. For example, she could release details…
  • Sunshine and shadows: Statehouses tackle open records laws in 2015

    Emily Shaw
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:59 am
    Virginia's statehouse weathers a storm. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)   Transparency advocates, it’s a great time to check in on your state legislature! The 2016 state legislative sessions have already witnessed a host of important actions, with legislators across the country considering measures to increase and decrease governmental transparency. Two months into the new year, one state Virginia has already concluded its work for 2015, while several others are rounding into their final month of work. Here’s a roundup of some of the bills we’re watching. Open Meetings and Public…
  • DNC paid $4.5 million for events at White House

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:44 am
    Democratic operatives have made frequent use of the White House grounds, according to expenditure reports. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Since 2011, the Democratic National Committee has made 56 payments totaling more than $4.5 million to the U.S. Treasury, most of which paid for catering at "Reservation #1," the National Park Service's terminology for the White House grounds. On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama decried the Bush administration for over-politicizing his office telling a crowd in Manchester, N.H. that "the days of using the White House as another arm of the Republican…
  • Five questions about Hillary Clinton's secret email

    John Wonderlich
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:28 am
    Hillary Clinton's use of personal email while serving as secretary of state raises serious questions about transparency and accountability. Last night, the New York Times published a story explaining that Hillary Clinton exclusively used personal email during her four-year tenure as secretary of state. Federal law governs how official records, including email, are managed, to ensure that public records are preserved, and to help ensure that our Freedom of Information and other accountability laws reach official communications. While it’s likely very early in what will undoubtedly spawn…
 
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    Deeplinks

  • A Way Forward: Bruce Schneier’s Data and Goliath Explains Where Our Privacy is Now, and How We Fix It

    Cindy Cohn and Nadia Kayyali
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:46 am
    EFF is honored to have renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier as a member of our board and a collaborator for nearly 20 years. But even if we’d never met him, we’d still be incredibly excited about the release of his new book, Data and Goliath Schneier has been providing detailed analyses of cryptography, big data, NSA leaks, security flaws, and more for decades (when he’s not terrifying NSA Director Mike Rogers with deceptively simple questions about security). What’s exceptional about his writing and his is that he manages to be well-researched, in-depth, and accurate while…
  • Government "Clarifies" Its Stance on NSL Gag Orders

    Nadia Kayyali
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:54 am
    It seems the government doesn't know where it stands when it comes to national security letters (NSLs). National security letters are the investigative tool that the FBI uses to obtain information from companies as part of national security-related investigations. NSLs never have to be reviewed by a judge before being issued, and they almost always include gag orders that prevent the recipient from discussing the NSL. If you've been following our national security letter cases, you know that the government had to retract a statement made before the Ninth Circuit that minimized the devastating…
  • A New Bill in Paraguay Would Destroy Online Privacy

    Katitza Rodriguez
    5 Mar 2015 | 9:16 am
    Today, the Paraguayan House of Representatives postponed for eight days the discussion of a mandatory data retention proposal. The bill, if passed, will require Paraguayan telecom providers to store highly personal information about their customers Internet use, for one year, for possible future access by law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced last year under the flimsy pretext that this measure is urgently needed to prevent crime. These weak, but repeated arguments are a tried and tested technique, fomenting a culture of fear of ceaseless war or terrorism, in order to justify…
  • EFF Joins Civil Society and Computer Security Experts to Call for Rejection of Flawed Cybersecurity Legislation

    Nadia Kayyali
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:00 pm
    EFF has joined 26 civil society organizations and 22 computer security experts in a letter that calls on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to reject the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA). CISA, currently only available in draft form, is yet another iteration of the infamous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), first introduced in 2011. These pieces of legislation have all been introduced under the auspices of increased computer and network security. But instead of providing increased funding for security research, providing funding for security…
  • The STRONG Patents Act Is a Prime Example of Weak Reform

    Adi Kamdar
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:47 am
    "Reform" refers to making changes in something in order to improve it. The STRONG Patents Act, introduced yesterday by Sens. Coons, Durbin, and Hirono, claims to be a "reform" bill—in reality, it would achieve the exact opposite. As we note in our recent whitepaper, Defend Innovation, we should primarily tackle the root problem of most patent issues: the abundance of poor quality patents. Important tools exist already to challenge bad patents, and these should be strengthened and made less expensive. The STRONG Patents Act's major "reform," however, cripples these means of limiting or…
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    The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government

  • Walmart Workers to Earn $10 an Hour; Walmart Heirs “Earn” $445,776 an Hour

    sklinger
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:22 am
    Thanks to three years of organizing, 500,000 Walmart workers will soon get a raise. Over the last three years, strikes and pickets by Walmart’s low-wage employees have steadily expanded. Last Black Friday, protests were staged at more than 1,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Dozens of employees were arrested. Late last month, the nation’s largest private employer finally responded by agreeing to raise its workers’ pay to $9 an hour by April and $10 an hour by next February. The announcement means half a million Walmart employees – almost 40 percent of the…
  • What We Lose with a Privatized Postal Service

    kmcfate
    4 Mar 2015 | 11:36 am
    This op-ed was originally published by OtherWords America's founders recognized that commerce requires a common infrastructure. Did you know that when you ship a package through Federal Express, the U.S. Postal Service often carries it the last mile? Last year, the Postal Service delivered 1.4 billion packages for FedEx and UPS. In fact, it delivers the last mile for almost a third of FedEx packages. The 618,000 Postal Service workers also delivered nearly 66 billion pieces of first-class mail — that’s more than 100,000 pieces per carrier. The Postal Service can reach all 150 million…
  • Are U.S. Oil Refineries Prepared for Climate Change?

    afrank
    2 Mar 2015 | 7:09 am
    It’s been a bad month for oil refineries. The nationwide strike against unsafe working conditions and other unfair labor practices is in its fifth week, with more than 7,000 workers participating. Two weeks ago, an explosion at a Los Angeles refinery demonstrated the validity of the United Steelworkers’ health and safety concerns, injuring four workers and raining ash on surrounding neighborhoods. Now a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that refineries and the communities near them face yet another unaddressed risk: climate change. Many U.S. refineries are…
  • Think Corporate Tax Cuts Create Jobs? Think Again.

    sklinger
    25 Feb 2015 | 7:41 am
    Nine million unemployed Americans want to work, but they can’t find a job. Nearly seven million more are working part-time but want full-time work. We still have a job shortage in this country. Many in Congress think the solution is more corporate tax cuts. The theory sounds nice: if a business owner has more money in his pocket, he will plough that money into business expansion and hire more employees. But it doesn’t work that way in real life. We took a look at large corporations with the highest and lowest effective tax rates between 2008 and 2012 to see how many jobs they…
  • UPDATE: President Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

    kweatherford
    25 Feb 2015 | 7:27 am
    UPDATE (2/25/2015): President Obama followed through on his pledge and vetoed the Keystone XL bill on Tuesday, within hours of the bill arriving at his desk. Obama explained that he vetoed the bill because it “conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment . . . .” As for the future of the Keystone XL pipeline, the president’s veto does not put an end to the project altogether. Rather, the State Department will soon finish its…
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    Local Open Government Blog

  • Washington Supreme Court Grants Petitions to Review Nissen v. Pierce County

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:48 pm
    On March 3, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court granted two petitions to review Nissen v. Pierce County, 183 Wn. App. 581, 333 P.3d 577 (2014).  In Nissen, the Washington Court of Appeals applied the Washington Public Records Act and held that text messages sent and received from a government employee’s (the elected prosecuting attorney’s) private cell phone are public records if they relate to government business, as are portions of call logs that track a government employee’s private, non-agency cell phone.  Read more about the decision here.  Pierce County…
  • Hillary Clinton Defends Use of Personal E-mail

    Steve DiJulio
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:55 am
    On March 2, 2015, The New York Times reported that Hilary Clinton, during her tenure as Secretary of State, may have violated federal regulations by using her personal e-mail to conduct government business. The report says that Clinton aides took no measures to preserve the personal emails on the department servers, which is required by the Federal Records Act. Read more at: http://www.king5.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/03/hillary-clinton-emails/24299925/  
  • City Investigation of Law Enforcement Whistleblower Allegations Subject to Disclosure; No Redaction of Witness Identification

    Steve DiJulio
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:06 pm
    In early 2011, City of Fife police officers submitted a whistleblower complaint to the City Manager.  The complaint covered a range of topics including discrimination, misappropriation of public funds and improper workplace relationships.  The City retained an outside entity to investigate the allegations.  The City determined the investigation was thorough and the allegations were either not sustained or unfounded.  One of the complaining officers submitted a public records request for the report, audio recordings and transcripts of interviews, and other records relating…
  • Court Of Appeals Reverses Large Public Records Act Penalty Imposed On University Of Washington

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    19 Feb 2015 | 11:25 am
    In Bichindaritz v. University of Washington, Division One of the Court of Appeals reversed a $723,290.50 penalty and $102,958.03 attorney fee award for violations of the Public Records Act by the University of Washington.  The trial court had concluded that the University’s production of documents to the requestor, a former employee who had sued the University, was not in good faith and that the University waited too long to produce records it had already assembled but had not yet reviewed.  The University appealed. In particular, the University challenged the trial…
  • Exemption Log Sufficient to Trigger One Year Statute of Limitations for Washington PRA Claim

    Steve DiJulio
    9 Feb 2015 | 4:21 pm
    Under Washington’s Public Record Act, an action challenging an agency’s refusal of records must be filed within one year of the agency’s claim of exemption. RCW 42.56.550(6). The Supreme Court holds that an insufficient exemption log will not trigger the running of the statute of limitations.  Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound v. City of Des Moines, 165 Wn.2d 525 (2009  A “log need not be elaborate but should allow a requestor to make a threshold determination of whether the agency has properly invoked the exemption.”  WAC…
 
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Knight News Challenge seeks new ideas to increase civic participation around elections

    Jenn Topper
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
    Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx The Knight Foundation just launched its annual Knight News Challenge, posing the question: "How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?" The News Challenge, which closes on March 19, offers grants totaling more than $3 million to innovative ideas to help solve problems around civic participation. Sunlight President Chris Gates offered his own thoughts on the question over at the Knight Foundation blog, highlighting transparency as key to increasing participation. From his post: We believe that more…
  • Hillary Clinton's emails: What she can tell us right now

    Bill Allison
    5 Mar 2015 | 9:25 am
    Last night, Hillary Clinton tweeted that she wants the public to see the emails she used a secret account (the word “personal” in this context is a bit inapt) to send while she served as secretary of state, and suggested that the State Department is to blame for preventing disclosure. Let us take the all-but-announced presidential candidate at her word that there is little she can to do to expedite the release of the emails in the State Department’s possession—there is still a great number of questions she can answer now as a show of good faith. For example, she could release details…
  • Sunshine and shadows: Statehouses tackle open records laws in 2015

    Emily Shaw
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:59 am
    Virginia's statehouse weathers a storm. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)   Transparency advocates, it’s a great time to check in on your state legislature! The 2016 state legislative sessions have already witnessed a host of important actions, with legislators across the country considering measures to increase and decrease governmental transparency. Two months into the new year, one state Virginia has already concluded its work for 2015, while several others are rounding into their final month of work. Here’s a roundup of some of the bills we’re watching. Open Meetings and Public…
  • DNC paid $4.5 million for events at White House

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:44 am
    Democratic operatives have made frequent use of the White House grounds, according to expenditure reports. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Since 2011, the Democratic National Committee has made 56 payments totaling more than $4.5 million to the U.S. Treasury, most of which paid for catering at "Reservation #1," the National Park Service's terminology for the White House grounds. On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama decried the Bush administration for over-politicizing his office telling a crowd in Manchester, N.H. that "the days of using the White House as another arm of the Republican…
  • Five questions about Hillary Clinton's secret email

    John Wonderlich
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:28 am
    Hillary Clinton's use of personal email while serving as secretary of state raises serious questions about transparency and accountability. Last night, the New York Times published a story explaining that Hillary Clinton exclusively used personal email during her four-year tenure as secretary of state. Federal law governs how official records, including email, are managed, to ensure that public records are preserved, and to help ensure that our Freedom of Information and other accountability laws reach official communications. While it’s likely very early in what will undoubtedly spawn…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Knight News Challenge seeks new ideas to increase civic participation around elections

    Jenn Topper
    6 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
    Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx The Knight Foundation just launched its annual Knight News Challenge, posing the question: "How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections?" The News Challenge, which closes on March 19, offers grants totaling more than $3 million to innovative ideas to help solve problems around civic participation. Sunlight President Chris Gates offered his own thoughts on the question over at the Knight Foundation blog, highlighting transparency as key to increasing participation. From his post: We believe that more…
  • Hillary Clinton's emails: What she can tell us right now

    Bill Allison
    5 Mar 2015 | 9:25 am
    Last night, Hillary Clinton tweeted that she wants the public to see the emails she used a secret account (the word “personal” in this context is a bit inapt) to send while she served as secretary of state, and suggested that the State Department is to blame for preventing disclosure. Let us take the all-but-announced presidential candidate at her word that there is little she can to do to expedite the release of the emails in the State Department’s possession—there is still a great number of questions she can answer now as a show of good faith. For example, she could release details…
  • Sunshine and shadows: Statehouses tackle open records laws in 2015

    Emily Shaw
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:59 am
    Virginia's statehouse weathers a storm. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)   Transparency advocates, it’s a great time to check in on your state legislature! The 2016 state legislative sessions have already witnessed a host of important actions, with legislators across the country considering measures to increase and decrease governmental transparency. Two months into the new year, one state Virginia has already concluded its work for 2015, while several others are rounding into their final month of work. Here’s a roundup of some of the bills we’re watching. Open Meetings and Public…
  • DNC paid $4.5 million for events at White House

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    4 Mar 2015 | 7:44 am
    Democratic operatives have made frequent use of the White House grounds, according to expenditure reports. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Since 2011, the Democratic National Committee has made 56 payments totaling more than $4.5 million to the U.S. Treasury, most of which paid for catering at "Reservation #1," the National Park Service's terminology for the White House grounds. On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama decried the Bush administration for over-politicizing his office telling a crowd in Manchester, N.H. that "the days of using the White House as another arm of the Republican…
  • Five questions about Hillary Clinton's secret email

    John Wonderlich
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:28 am
    Hillary Clinton's use of personal email while serving as secretary of state raises serious questions about transparency and accountability. Last night, the New York Times published a story explaining that Hillary Clinton exclusively used personal email during her four-year tenure as secretary of state. Federal law governs how official records, including email, are managed, to ensure that public records are preserved, and to help ensure that our Freedom of Information and other accountability laws reach official communications. While it’s likely very early in what will undoubtedly spawn…
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    Free Proxy

  • Proxy Hongrie

    4 Mar 2015 | 2:50 am
    Liste de proxy Hongrie gratuit 2015 pour tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont besoin d'avoir une adresse ...source Les derniers articles publiés sur Proxy Liste de proxy gratuit - Centerblog http://ift.tt/1zIgEmh
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    Coding Defined

  • Blast.js - Blast Text Apart to Make it Manipulable

    Hemant Joshi
    20 Feb 2015 | 12:06 pm
    In this post we will discuss about Blast.js by which you can animate text. If you need to animate a single word in a paragraph, you will wrap the word it in the element and then animate it. If you need to animate three words its not a big task. But if you want to animate each character of a paragraph, we need to wrap each character around an element which is a big task. Thats why Blast.js exists.According to Blast.js, it separates text in order to facilitate typographic manipulation. It has four delimiters built in : charater, word, sentence, and element. Alternatively, Blast can match custom…
  • Karma - Spectacular Test Runner for JavaScript

    Hemant Joshi
    13 Feb 2015 | 6:42 am
    In this post we will discuss about a test runner for JavaScript (Karma).According to Karma, it is a simple tool that allows you to execute JavaScript code in multiple real browsers. The main purpose of Karma is to make your TDD development easy, fast, and fun.Karma is not a testing framework, it just launches a HTTP server, and generates the test runner HTML file. It uses Nodejs and SocketIO to allow running your code and tests in multiple browsers.Install KarmaAt first you need to install NodeJS on your machine. Once you have NodeJS installed, you can install Karma by running the following…
  • Reading and Writing to file simultaneouly in Nodejs

    Hemant Joshi
    9 Feb 2015 | 6:10 am
    In this post we will discuss about writing to file and then reading it simultaneously in Nodejs. Writing to a file and Reading the contents of a file into memory is a very common programming task, the Node.js core API provides methods to make this trivial.The easiest way to read the entire contents of a file is fs.readFile and the easiest way to write into the file is fs.writeFile.According to http://nodejs.org/,fs.readFile - Asysnchronously reads the entire contents of a file.fs.writeFile - Asynchronously writes data to a file, replacing the file if it alraedy exists.fs.createWriteStream -…
  • Free Bug & Issue Tracking Applications for Developers

    Hemant Joshi
    6 Feb 2015 | 10:32 am
    In this post we will discuss about some of the free bug and issue tracking applications for developers. Bug and issue tracking applications are always useful whenever you are developing a software or web app, to easily detect bugs. This helps you to reduce the development time and increase productivity by helping you to fix the bugs without much efforts.1. MantisBTAccording to Mantis Bug Tracker, it is an open source issue tracker that provides a delicate balance between simplicity and power. Users are able to get started in mintes and start managing their projects while collaborating with…
  • Free jQuery Map Plugins

    Hemant Joshi
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:13 pm
    In this post we will discuss about some of the free jQuery Map Plugins. You might be familiar with Google Maps API and you have struggle day and night to make it work in your site Or might not be. But for those who needs a simpler API to integrate Maps in their site we bring you some of the free jQuery plugins which we came across.1. jHERE (MAPS MADE EASY)According to jHERE, Maps are cool, but map APIs are complicated. jHERE solves this problem by offering a simple but powerful map API in the form of a jQuery plugin. With jHERE you can easily add interactive maps to your website. In only 5KB…
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