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While millions of Americans e-filed their taxes yesterday, only 21 senators e-filed their finance reports. Even though the House does it. Even though it would save $500,000. Even though it would make #opendata available to the public faster... [via +The Center for Public Integrity]
A growing number of senators voluntarily e-file their campaign finance reports. But will the practice ever be mandated?
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Trending TransparencyCamp brainstorm ideas: An open techpolicy dictionary, #opengov now and #dataviz. What's your idea? Vote for your favorites - or submit your own! - on the #TCamp14 brainstorm page.
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For all of its strengths, FARA can be a real bummer: There’s the borderline amusing fact that the upload system forces filers to convert usable, structured data sets into PDFs. Yikes.

But we've got some suggestions to improve it - starting with greater disclosure and better #opendatahttp://snlg.ht/1qENJ0a
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As Hillary Clinton ponders a 2016 White House run, her past ties to Boeing are coming under scrutiny.

More news inside Today in #OpenGov.
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Sunlight Foundation

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In a post-#McCutcheon world (where a single donor can contribute $3.5 million in an election), +Barack Obama's real job isn't president - it's Fundraiser-in-Chief. [via +National Journal]
The Supreme Court's latest campaign finance decision is going to put even more pressure on the president to spend time chasing cash.
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Want to build a passionate community around #opendata?

Join our free webinar with Transparency International tomorrow! We'll be exploring creative ideas that inject political finance info into everyday life.

Register for free today: http://snlg.ht/1oQjIND
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inter nazi's profile photoDavid Rodríguez Andino's profile photoEvan Mackinder's profile photoAlexander Howard's profile photo
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The webinar went great, by the way!
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Have them in circles
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Who is the House's biggest 2014 fundraiser so far? No, not Speaker John Boehner, not Nancy Pelosi - it's former NJ insurance exec Tom MacArthur.
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Morning! #SuperPAC leaders are scoring perks from political donations, from golf outings to steak dinners.

See where they spend all that cash inside Today in #OpenGov.
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Sunlight Foundation

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The more you lobby on taxes, the less you pay in them - at least, that's what it seems like when you're a corporate giant.

In fact, 7 out of the 8 companies who spent the most on lobbying in the late 2000s saw their tax rate decrease significantly.

Read our analysis on the US tax code - and why it's not likely to change anytime soon: http://snlg.ht/1p6PZjJ
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"Nine years ago, the company opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of the capital’s pay-to-play culture.

Since then, +Google has soared to near the top of the city’s lobbying ranks... [giving to] nearly 140 trade groups, advocacy organizations and think tanks."

Via +Washington Post: http://wapo.st/1gmBUoU
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Google has to play by the rules, even if it's a rigged game. It's up to us to elect people who will rewrite the rules. Even so, +Google, please don't be evil.
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Have them in circles
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Working to change the relationship between citizens and their government with Internet technology.
Introduction
The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit founded in 2006 that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. 

We do so by creating tools, open data, policy recommendations, journalism and grant opportunities to dramatically expand access to vital government information to create accountability of our public officials. Our vision is to use technology to enable more complete, equitable and effective democratic participation. Our overarching goal is to achieve changes in the law to require real-time, online transparency for all government information, with a special focus on the political money flow and who tries to influence government and how government responds. And, while our scope began with only a focus on the U.S. Congress, we now are defining open government on the local, state, federal and international level.

We believe that information is power, or, to put it more finely, disproportionate access to information is power. Indeed, we are committed to improving access to government information by making it available online, indeed redefining "public" information as meaning "online."

We approach our work in a number of ways. We work with thousands of software developers, local transparency activists, bloggers, on and off-line active citizens and journalists, involving them in distributed research projects, hackathons, targeted lobbying and training. Sunlight's Policy team pushes for improved transparency policy through through NGO efforts like OpeningParliament.org, and through traditional lobbying of government. Our reporters cover political influence stories both through reporting and through close collaboration with technical staff, leveraging computer-assisted reporting and data visualization techniques. And in Sunlight Labs, our team of technologists and designers create apps and websites to bring information directly to citizens, as well as building and maintaining APIs that power the applications of others.

These efforts have produced real results. To date, we have served more than 736 million API calls (and counting), indicating how much the data we liberate is needed. Our reporting is frequently cited by the world's preeminent journalists. Our research has led to congressional hearings, and our tools have stripped problematic measures from bills. But we know that as government grows ever-more complex, we will all need better tools to navigate it to ensure democracy thrives.

Get involved in helping us open up government, one data set at a time.