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Obama Administration Agencies Blow Off Required Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Reports

This month, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued its second semi-annual public report on its investigations of the activities of the United States government and the extent to which those activities violate the constitutional rights of everyday people. A juicy tidbit in that report seems to have escaped notice. Let’s cover it.

Focus [...]

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Introduces Website and First Report

Empowered to subpoena testimony and documents from the U.S. Government, evaluate the constitutionality of “War on Terror” programs, and report its findings to Congress and the public, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was supposed to have begun its activities in 2008. But President Barack Obama refused to nominate any members of the [...]

You Can't Know Who Acted How to Hide What You Can't Know. Is That Clear?

Nope, the headline of this article isn’t clear to me either, and that’s the problem.

On Thursday of this week, the Senate quietly rolled back a new law that would have required senior government officials’ financial ties to industry to be posted to the Internet, where anyone could review them. There was no public debate. [...]

As Staffers Jump Ship, Americans Elect Delays Financial Disclosure Again

According to the IRS, members of the American public have the right to ask for the Form 990 annual financial disclosure from any Section 501(c) corporation. Those disclosures matter because they provide information the activities of corporations that most don’t disclose voluntarily. By looking at a Form 990, it’s possible to find out to some [...]

Asking (Again) For Americans Elect Form 990, August 2012

As Americans, we have the right to examine the public records of the corporations that have been granted a public charter. The IRS requires that the Form 990 annual report of any Section 501(c) corporation be delivered within 30 days of the a written request, whether that request has been made by e-mail or by [...]

The Common Sense Coalition Releases its Form 1023

When faced with requests for documents about itself, the privatized presidential election corporation Americans Elect has practiced a policy of delaying, obfuscating and outright refusing the public. It’s nice to see that not all 501(c) political corporations behave this way. The Common Sense Coalition, formed by a spinoff of Americans Elect advisors, has departed from [...]

The Common Sense Coalition Promises to Disclose its Donors (with Update)

Like Americans Elect, The Common Sense Coalition is a 501(c)(4) corporation. The Common Sense Coalition holds leadership in common with Americans Elect and explicitly identifies itself as continuing the mission of Americans Elect, but in its disclosure behavior it promises to be rather different from Americans Elect.

On June 20 of this year, I [...]

Postponing Transparency, Americans Elect Delays the Posting of Form 990 Disclosures (5/2012)

Finally, after two years of initiating contact with Americans Elect and asking for a response, the 501c4 corporation that wanted to elect its own President of the United States has written me a letter in response.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Americans Elect’s letter — even after its failure to [...]

Formal Request for Americans Elect Form 990 (and why it’s important to keep asking)

Americans Elect, which until this week told America it would run the country’s first-ever privatized all-online presidential nomination, is a corporation organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. The federal government requires corporations organized under Section 501(c) to make the following forms available the same day upon an in-person request, or within 30 days [...]

Americans Elect Says it will Answer Any Questions on February 12 at 6pm Eastern. Will It Really?

Update, 2/12/2012 @9:18PM: The Short Answer is “No.” The long answer is that Americans Elect refused to answer any probing, difficult questions. The affair, unfortunately, was a public relations event, not a democratic one. See details here.

There’s a 501c4 corporation and political party on the national scene that has been mum on many matters. [...]

Democracy Managed: Sponheim campaign recording of Americans Elect reveals new strategy for Not Releasing Donor Names

Self-proclaimed “centrist” presidential candidate David Jon Sponheim and an associate have been live-streaming the proceedings of an Americans Elect “conference” being held in California. I put the word “conference” in quotes because there’s not much “co” to the proceedings. Facilitator Jake Brewer (a corporate communications professional) has been using phrases like “co-creation” and “all about [...]