Ilan Rabinovitch | 9 Aug 22:27 2009

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Fwd: Drupal loader for Campaign Finance tables now available

While we dont currently use drupal for anything, I thought this might be 
a good point of reference for how others are using the Open Secrets data 


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Drupal loader for Campaign Finance tables now available
Date: 	Tue, 28 Jul 2009 15:31:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: 	Steve Toub <opensecrets@...>
Reply-To: 	opensecrets-open-data@...
To: 	OpenSecrets Open Data <opensecrets-open-data@...>
CC: 	steve@...

Hi all--

For those of you working in Drupal, has released a loader
It currently imports the cands, cmtes, indivs, pacs, and pac_other
Campaign Finance tables into Drupal. We have plans to expand into
Lobbying tables in the future, but patches welcome for this or other
portions of OpenSecrets Open Data if you get there before us.

Many thanks to CRP for this incredible data set!


Steve Toub
(Continue reading)

Ilan Rabinovitch | 26 Jun 17:43 2009

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Fwd: [#TCAMP09] TransparencyCamp West

I thought the list might have some interest in this.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[#TCAMP09] TransparencyCamp West
Date: 	Fri, 26 Jun 2009 11:41:38 -0400
From: 	Gabriela Schneider <gschneider@...>
To: 	TransparencyCamp <transparencycamp@...>, 

Hi everyone,
Sunlight is gearing up for another TransparencyCamp in August, but this 
time, we'll be in California.

Sign up here: (limited space)

Hope you can make it to our west coast version, hosted by our friends at 


Gabriela Schneider
Communications Director
Sunlight Foundation
1818 N Street, NW Suite 410
WDC 20036
p: 202/742-1520 x 236
c: 202/746-0439
gschneider@... <mailto:gschneider@...>
(Continue reading)

Ilan Rabinovitch | 23 Mar 23:26 2009

[GeekPAC-Discuss] FOIA and Commonwealth of Virginia


Is anyone on the list based in Virginia?  I'm looking for some 
assistance with a FOIA request, and the VA law only requires them to 
provide access to records to "citizens of the commonwealth", as a result 
my requests have been denied.

To offer some background, the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement has been 
in on going secretive negotiations in for some time.   The few proposals 
and documents that have been leaked, suggest that this is going to make 
the DMCA look tame in comparison.  At the federal level, FOIA requests 
have been getting denied fairly consistently under the guise of 
"national security."

Recently however, it became widely known that advisors to the the office 
of US Trade Representative have access to ACTA proposals and documents.  
Most of the articles I've read to date focus on the fact that there are 
commercial interests with advisors on these boards (IBM, Sun, Intel, 
Mattel, etc).  However, in reviewing the list of Advisory committees 
and their membership, I noticed that several state and local governments 
agencies are represented on these committees as well.  As a result, I 
have been making FOIA or similar open-records requests to those agencies 
in each state.

One of the road blocks I've encountered on this project is that a few 
states require the requester to be a resident, hence my call for 
residents of Virginia.   We have already written the letter and done 
research on the relevant state/local laws to cite. We would just need 
you to send the letter, and forward us a copy of any responses.
(Continue reading)

Ilan Rabinovitch | 21 Jan 09:50 2009

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Sunlight Labs Contest - Any Ideas?


Sunlight Labs recently announced  their annual development contest 
called "Apps for America", with the goal of encouraging the community to 
develop applications which will make Congress and the US Government more 
accountable.   First place in the contest would win $15,000, $5000 for 
2nd and $1000 for 3rd place.  More details are available here:

We thought that this contest would be a great way to:

1) Help fund some of the initial projects and filings for GeekPAC
2) Get the word out about GeekPAC and our core issues around information 
rights, etc.

We are therefore currently brain storming and looking for ideas for 
applications to build as part of this contest. Would anyone on the list 
be interested in helping with an entry for the Sunlight Labs contest? 
Do you have any ideas for applications we can build with the available 
APIs?  (

Awards will be judged based on the following criteria:

    1. Usefulness to constituents for watching over and communicating 
with their members of Congress
    2. Potential impact of ethical standards on Congress
    3. Originality of the application
    4. Potential usability of the application
    5. Code quality of application
(Continue reading)

Joe Smith | 12 Jan 22:02 2009

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Congress on Youtube

Just wanted to point out

Supposedly some reps have disabled comments on their videos, which
doesn't make sense to me, but otherwise this looks cool.

Joe Smith
Student Network Technician
Chapman University IS&T
John Mark Walker | 9 Dec 03:47 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] EFF files 3 DMCA exemption requests with US copyright office

I just saw this, even though it's a week old:

One request asks for a DMCA exemption for amateur creators who use excerpts from DVDs in order to create new, noncommercial works.

Another requests a DMCA exemption for cell phone "jailbreaking"

And the third proposal asks for a renewal of an exemption previously granted for unlocking cell phones so that the handsets can be used with any telecommunications carrier.

Once again, the EFF is doing good work here and deserves your support. The following link tracks this request as well as previous requests for exemptions to the DMCA:

See also this post by Fred von Lohmann on the latest request:


Discuss mailing list
Ilan Rabinovitch | 18 Nov 11:50 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Fwd: [LinuxUsers] Rights! what right?

Sounds like time to step up our state level tracking efforts.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chris Penn <>
Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 8:55 PM
Subject: [LinuxUsers] Rights! what right?
To: SoCal LUG Users List <linuxusers@...>

Don't go to school in Tennessee......

RIAA Wins, Campuses Lose as Tennessee Governor Signs Campus Network
Filtering Law

Last week, the RIAA celebrated the signing of a ridiculous new law in
Tennessee that says:
Each public and PRIVATE institution of higher education in the state
that has student residential computer networks shall:
[R]easonably attempt to prevent the infringement of copyrighted works
over the institution's computer and network resources, if such
institution receives fifty (50) or more legally valid notices of
infringement as prescribed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of
1998 within the preceding year.

The aRRRRRRIAA is shredding the rights of Americans everywhere.


"As we open our newspapers or watch our television screens, we seem to
be continually assaulted by the fruits of Mankind's stupidity."
-Roger Penrose
LinuxUsers mailing list
Ilan Rabinovitch | 15 Nov 11:46 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Charting Microsoft's lobbying expenditures

Via Matt Asay's blog on CNET, I thought the following link regarding 
Microsoft's recent increase in lobbying expenditures in DC might be of 
interest to the list.

Ilan Rabinovitch | 9 Nov 03:39 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] LISA?


Will anyone be at LISA this coming week?  If so, it might be a good 
opportunity for a BOF or meetup.

Don Marti | 7 Nov 00:54 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] Thank you for your application

Hey, as long as there's going to be a US government
Pirate Czar, I might as well apply for the job.
If some of you want to fight me for it, I can't
stop you.

----- Forwarded message from Obama-Biden Administration Jobs
<autoresponse@...> -----

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 18:37:39 -0500
To: dmarti@...
From: Obama-Biden Administration Jobs <autoresponse@...>
Subject: Thank you for your application

Hello Donald, 

Thank you for your interest in joining the Obama-Biden Administration.  Within a few days, you will receive
an email with a link to the more complete on-line application.  Please be patient, as we are trying to
respond promptly to the large number of people who are interested in working in the Administration.

----- End forwarded message -----


Don Marti                                               +1 510-814-0932
Ilan Rabinovitch | 22 Oct 23:15 2008

[GeekPAC-Discuss] [Fwd: [DBD] Hold your politicians accountable for PRO-IP]

From: DBD <sitehelp@...>
Subject: [DBD] Hold your politicians accountable for PRO-IP
Date: 2008-10-22 20:23:01 GMT

Hold your politicians accountable for PRO-IP

Take action: 

 * Take three quick steps to tell your representatives they have gone too far.

 * Digg this story.

Any law the president of the RIAA describes as "music to the ears" is
guaranteed to be big trouble. On October 13th, President Bush signed the
misleadingly named PRO-IP bill into law, giving the DRM-loving segments of the
entertainment industry a substantial foothold in the Department of Justice,
paving the way for unwarranted seizures of computer equipment, and funding
entertainment industry propaganda with your tax dollars.

This was yet another gift to the industry and an attack on the public's
interest, from our own representatives and senators. Just because the bill has
become law does not mean that we should let them off the hook for their votes.
Take this important opportunity to write and call them, to let them know that
this is unacceptable and that you expect an explanation for their votes.

More information can be found on our blog at

In solidarity,

John, Josh, Matt, and Peter

Manage your account settings at
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