Archive for transparency

Crowdpac, the Latest Way to Digitally Match Donor and Politician


Republican Math

Just in time for the 2014 mid-terms, Crowdpac was invented to help the voter filter and find candidates they are in ideological and practical political harmony.

One of the Crowdpac co-founders was on The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, and had some fascinating insights to the new online resource to share with a soon-departing Chuck Todd.

Seems like a political version of Match dot com. You plug in your beliefs and the specifics of your politics and peccadillos … in the wake of Citizens United and other SCROTUS insults to the American voter.



Wisconsin families who already have kids at taxpayer-funded private schools are still sending in voucher requests


public school sinking cartoon via Philly.comVia

Wisconsin gets a lot of voucher requests for their private schools. However, there appears to be a teeny weeny little glitchette. Families who already have kids at those schools are still sending in voucher requests. Gee, ya think someone should take a second look at Gov. Scott Walker's cherished privatizing efforts?

Via the Leader-Telegram:

Earlier this year, in a controversial move, the state Legislature expanded the voucher program to include 500 students outside the Milwaukee and Racine school districts and grow from 500 to 1,000 the number of students in those two districts eligible for taxpayer-funded private school educations for the 2013-14 school year.[...]

The program would pay for K-12 students to attend private schools if income eligibility requirements are met rather than the public schools where they live. Private schools would receive taxpayer funding in the form of state aid for each eligible student.

When pushing for private school voucher expansion, Gov. Scott Walker said the plan would allow students from underperforming public schools who couldn’t afford to attend private schools to do so. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, said using state money to pay for students whose families already send them to private schools wasn’t part of those discussions. She said she raised the issue of that possibility earlier this year when the Legislature discussed vouchers but was told that wasn’t the intent of the program.

Oh, but it was. Using public money to pay for students who already attend private schools was indeed the intent. Democratic members of the state legislature are "troubled by the lack of fiscal transparency by private schools, who are not required to provide school-related information as are public schools." Too many loopholes in the law, say they.

And they would be correct.

walker world


Judge throws out rule forcing oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments


that's oil folks smaller

Gee, what a surprise: A victory for Big Oil.

Via The Hill:

A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a controversial Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would force oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The decision is a victory for oil industry and business groups that claim the requirements would have imposed costly burdens and forced disclosure of commercially sensitive information. [...]

The decision is a defeat for human rights groups, who say the rule provides “transparency” that can help prevent corruption and ensure the public benefits from energy development in Africa and elsewhere.

The rule was required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Chamber of Commerce couldn't be happier that it was tossed.

It's safe to say that this time around, the GOP won't refer to the decision as judicial activism.


Vice President Biden backs public disclosure of torture report


biden big f'ing deal

This is one of the reasons I'm a Biden fan. Roll Call:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Friday night that he supports making a classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and enhanced interrogation more available to the public. [...]

"I think the only way you excise the demons is you acknowledge, you acknowledge exactly what happened straightforward,” Biden said. He explained his position that issues related to torture must be laid out before a country can move beyond them, citing the war crimes committed in the Balkans and other acts of torture overseas.

“The single best thing that ever happened to Germany were the war crimes tribunals, because it forced Germany to come to its milk about what in fact has happened,” Biden said. “That’s why they’ve become the great democracy they’ve become.”

That's a whole lot saner than New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R) suggesting the use of torture on Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Now if only the vice president would back a full investigation and eventual prosecution of those in the Bush administration who “indisputably” practiced torture and had “no justification” for doing so.

Biden made his remarks at the same forum in Sedona, Arizona at which he said to John McCain, if the  2008 economy had been better “I think you probably would have won.”