Can You Hear Me Now? FCC Regulation and In-Flight Cell Phone Use

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement last week of a proposed FCC regulation on in-flight cell phone use hit a raw nerve in America’s psyche.  And for good reason as I, like too many others, become both villain … Continue Reading

E-Gov Spotlight: Baltimore, Maryland

Today’s blog kicks off our new “E-Gov Spotlight Series.”  The new blog series will take a closer look at American cities that are embracing new technologies to deliver services to residents. We intend to review a number of interactive tools … Continue Reading

The Public, Fireworks and Safety: Happy 4th of July America!

From New York City to San Francisco, from Skagway, AK to Wilmington, NC, Americans across the land celebrate with parades, good food and fireworks. As we reflect upon the day of our national independence centuries ago (which was actually July … Continue Reading

A Media That’s More Than Social

Each day, federal, state and local governments now share an unprecedented amount of digital information with the public. The increasing level of openness in government is most notable in the use of social media. Yet while the nation’s largest cities … Continue Reading

How To Write Public Comments

Public speaking is so fearful, “that to the average person if you have to be at a funeral, you’d rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy!” Yet Jerry Seinfeld highlights only one side of a two-sided problem: that … Continue Reading

The “Open Government” Loophole: Naked Yoga Anyone?

To say that lawmakers haven’t fully embraced the electronic public records movement is to state the obvious. As some shy away from the new era, the wise pay close attention to the growing national debate over the line between their … Continue Reading

Obama’s $7.2 Billion Digital Mall Offers Free Rent, Sits Curiously Vacant

A massive new “digital mall” with a $7.2 billion price tag is near completion.  It’s built with public funds and, due to its large size, boasts a capacity to store and display virtually the entire federal establishment and every local … Continue Reading

Notice and Comment Monopoly

Notice and Comment: A Game Worth Playing

Its one big virtual game and it’s free to play. You can move around the board, calculating odds and making choices. But instead of throwing the dice, you maneuver using your own knowledge and persuasive talent; and instead of Passing … Continue Reading

Plain Language – Please!

The interruption wasn’t gentle: “I’ve practiced law for 40 years and couldn’t begin to tell you what those damn public notices are trying to say!”  There I was, making the case for what became to a friend who, in … Continue Reading

How Comments Trump Votes Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013

Imagine this: It’s Election Day and you’re a registered “independent” voter living in small-town USA. The same party dominates, as usual, and you’re locked out of the primaries. Your outcome is certain: hopes from this “highest” civic duty dashed, and … Continue Reading