February 3, 2011

Odds and ends

Here are some interesting transparency-related articles from the past few weeks. Enjoy:

• The Cato Institute's Jim Harper argues that Republicans in the House should embrace new technology when publishing bills online.

SessionAccess.org looks to be a great resource for keeping track of news coming out the upcoming Legislative session.

• Should we expand the House of Representatives? A New York Times op-ed argues yes, noting that we've gone from one representative for every 60,000 citizens in 1787, to one representative for every 200,000 citizens in 1913, to one representative for every 700,000 citizens today. A smaller ratio of representatives to citizens, they argue, would enable more accountable government and reduce the power of lobbyists and special interest groups.

• The Sunlight Foundation looks at President Obama's recent State of the Union address and finds his leadership on transparency issues is "slipping."

• House Ethics committee Chairman Jo Bonner (R-AL) concedes that most lawmakers privately wish to abolish the Office of Congressional Ethics but that "political realities" prevent them from doing so.

• Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has sent subpoenas to the Department of Homeland Security over their alleged politicization of FOIA requests.

• Politifact rates as "stalled" a promise by the Obama administration to institute transparency reforms when dealing with military contractors.