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Watchdog group says Idaho should have stricter lobbyist reporting

From the Idaho Reporter:

One national group that urges people to “follow the money” when it comes to state politics says Idaho’s sunshine law for lobbyists leaves out some key information that other states require, including lobbyists’ take-home pay from groups and companies that hire them.

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First Amendment travesties far and near

The Israeli Parliament recently passed legislation to bar public calls for a boycott against Israel or its West Bank settlements, according to the New York Times. The law’s supporters said it was necessary to push back against what they described as a strategy to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world.

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Vermont gets serious about enforcing its FOI law

The state of Vermont has taken a big step in the direction of more open government by amending its FOI law to allow for awards of attorney's fees to successful requesters. Why does this matter? Recalcitrant government agencies generally are not at risk for penalties for improperly withholding records. (Indeed, one can argue that they actually have disincentives to disclose, but that's another matter.) Few requesters, having been denied records, have the motivation and financial resources to hire a lawyer and file suit.

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