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Re: Local/State Gov

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  • sc0ttbeardsley
    ... Try to email the governor... He seems to be pro open source maybe he ll also be pro open government. Did you see this yet:
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 26, 2005
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      --- In govtrack@yahoogroups.com, Aaron Huslage <huslage@g...> wrote:

      > I've been working on getting the data for Oregon, however, abstracts
      > are the only things available online and there are no typed
      > transcripts at all.

      Try to email the governor... He seems to be pro open source maybe
      he'll also be pro open government.

      Did you see this yet:
      http://katu.com/stories/74397.html
    • directaction
      I m glad I found this site and am intrigued by the intent of the originators. Congratulations to this fine organization and its recent award. I hope that
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 29, 2005
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        I'm glad I found this site and am intrigued by the intent of the
        originators. Congratulations to this fine organization and its'
        recent award.

        I hope that your organization can make good use of the current
        opportunity to protect and enhance the citizen. I'm a political
        consultant. My business and my clients run campaigns which are all
        about citizen control of the government rather than the one other
        and reverse option.

        I work extensively with government data, and specifically the data
        concerning registration of voters---I use voter files on behalf of
        my clients and for our various intrusions into the "processes" of
        government", which is another way to say "getting votes".

        For the last six months, SOLID, I've been lost in a major overhaul
        of my business, and my ongoing confusion and despair is all about
        the inability to find and pay for the expertise and advice anyone
        needs when confronting the myriad technologies now available and
        indispensable for those in this field. Frankly, like it would be for
        any business, my problem is learning enough myself so that I can
        make wise choices in what technical support I need.

        Your group can go one of three ways: your proposal, which looks to
        be headed in a generally good direction; an indifferent course,
        where you either are ineffective because you never do anything or
        ineffective because you continually are in the dark about what is
        going on, and always are outmaneuvered by more knowledgeable
        operatives who for whatever reasons, are seeking something different
        than what you think is important; or you could go in the direction
        of profiting from what I think is an enormous amount of power and
        influence by closing off access to any real information and making
        damn sure that a whole lot of intentionally misleading information
        is substituted for and passed off as the real thing...and this last
        route is well-traveled, as it's been the choice of many, dating to
        the country's first day.

        I read the prior posts to this list, which included one from someone
        in Sacramento (my old home town and a town in which I've done much
        campaign work) and another post from someone in Oregon (where I now
        live and in which I do extensive campaign work) and I've included
        here some fairly lengthy comments, with examples on where to go or
        what to do in Sacramento or Oregon, but which apply elsewhere. I've
        managed campaigns all over the country, and for more than 25 years
        now, and will gladly help anyone with any information they need and
        which I might know something about.

        If your mission or goal is openness and access by the citizen to
        this thing called "government", I'm on your side. And before you
        consider that a good thing, ask yourselves "Just exactly who is our
        new ally, and what is he trying to get?"

        And remember to judge all you do and all that is done or proposed by
        others with that kind of general and reasonable examination.

        Please first consider the history and intent of all those with whom
        you deal and upon whom you rely for guidance or cooperation...for
        example: the posts concerning the Governor of Oregon, and the "open
        source" generalities, didn't mention any of the more obvious
        concerns we all must have about compilation and disposition of
        data...and as for Oregon's Governor and government, their history
        and current practices concerning such data are chock full of major
        problems. That's not to suggest that the Governor of Oregon and thw
        whole of that state's government are worse than elsewhere---no, I
        will say, however, that not a single state in this nation is
        anywhere near good or decent--- and I will also insist that not one
        of the existing state-by-state comparisons for "openness" are all
        that accurate as yet. And there are many groups which have proposed
        and are seeking the kind of openness which your group proposes to
        protect and enhance.

        Open access to all data which government compiles and/or manages is
        a hot debate being openly conducted (though I would put many
        qualifications on how to define "open", and herein, I'm not using
        it literally).

        Today, there is a real need for people to become engaged in this
        debate. And it's gotta be done right now---and the good guys better
        have some geeks with them, to translate and to inform--- so that the
        non-technically proficient among us don't get into trouble, BIG TIME
        and suddenly find that we gave away all kinds of data which is NO
        ONE's business just because we thought we were doing the right thing
        or because we didn't pay any attention when it was being opened up
        to "public" access(at the end I've attached a few lines about some
        problems which have erupted during this last election cycle).


        I suggest that you start with a review and analysis of all those
        individuals and groups who for so long have been doing or attempting
        to do what you now propose (since those groups which have goals
        similar to your own and with which I am familiar make for a VERY
        long list, I've noted only a few here).

        And let's all of us also identify the people and groups who are or
        likely will be MISUSING that same opportunity.

        As for groups you can begin with, one of your obvious tools, as well
        as a starting point for any group establishing its' intent or model,
        is the Freedom of Information Act. FOIA to put it simply, IS
        government information. You will want to consider both the original
        intent of FOIA, all of its' revisions over the years, and it's
        current implementation.

        Especially for those of you in the California, California Voter
        Foundation is a place you might go to get an overview of some of the
        info now available and to see how various interested parties are
        attempting to influence the collection of data and its' ultimate
        disposition---it's a private foundation, with an agenda (and EVERY
        ONE has an agenda, so learn the agenda of this group, too, and keep
        it in mind when evaluating what they propose---when you look into
        those who oppose some of what this Foundation advocates, you'll find
        many new avenues of inquiry).

        Right there in Sacramento you have one of the absolute best
        companies of all those which specialize in selling voter data and
        enhancements. And learn about all the major players in selling this
        data and using it for campaigns.

        If I can answer any questions or add anything of use to someone, I
        will be glad to help. Let's keep it open and only keep what we have
        a right to possess.
      • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack
        ... Hello, and thanks! I m not sure how much intrigue there could be about GovTrack, unless you think I might have some ulterior profit motives. My intent was
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 29, 2005
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          directaction wrote:
          > I'm glad I found this site and am intrigued by the intent of the
          > originators. Congratulations to this fine organization and its'
          > recent award.

          Hello, and thanks!

          I'm not sure how much intrigue there could be about GovTrack, unless you
          think I might have some ulterior profit motives. My intent was to
          create what you see now on the site. That's basically it.

          > I hope that your organization can make good use of the current
          > opportunity to protect and enhance the citizen.

          That's the general idea.

          > Your group can go one of three ways: your proposal, which looks to be
          > headed in a generally good direction;

          Not sure what proposal you're refering to. If you mean the 'long-term
          mission' box on the main page of the site, it's a good direction, yeah...

          > or you could go in the direction of profiting from what I think is an
          > enormous amount of power and influence by closing off access to any
          > real information

          Well, that's not my intention. That will become clearer in the next few
          months as I work on open standards for sharing information.

          > I've managed campaigns all over the country, and for more than 25 years
          > now, and will gladly help anyone with any information they need and
          > which I might know something about.

          I'm sure people will appreciate that.

          > Open access to all data which government compiles and/or manages is a
          > hot debate being openly conducted ...
          > and suddenly find that we gave away all kinds of data which is NO
          > ONE's business just because we thought we were doing the right thing

          That type of information is far beyond the scope of this mail list. All
          we're concerned about here is legislative records that are already a
          matter of public record and, for the most part, already accessible on
          the Internet.

          > I suggest that you start with a review and analysis of all those
          > individuals and groups who for so long have been doing or attempting
          > to do what you now propose

          Well, as if I have time to do a careful review and analysis of anything. :)

          > And let's all of us also identify the people and groups who are or
          > likely will be MISUSING that same opportunity.

          I can't disagree more. I have absolutely no concerns about whether
          people might misuse the data I publish. Given the type of information
          that I'm dealing with, there's simply no harm, without deliberate
          misuse, in publishing the truth. And, the same for the other types of
          information we've been talking about on this list.

          > If I can answer any questions or add anything of use to someone, I
          > will be glad to help. Let's keep it open and only keep what we have
          > a right to possess.

          Last time I checked, we've got a right to all of the information that
          we've ever talked about here. One might say more than a right to
          possess it, a duty to publish it.

          --
          - Joshua Tauberer

          http://taubz.for.net

          ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
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