Democracy

Cato Seeks Elimination of Disclosure Requirements for Ballot Measure Donors

The CATO Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank known for its libertarian bent, last week called for eliminating disclosure requirements for those who contribute funds in support or opposition of ballot measures (referendums).

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Defend the Afghan Press

"Hailed as a major success of five years of democracy-building, media freedom in Afghanistan is under increasing pressures," writes Alisa Tang. A spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said, "We've moved from an open media environment to a state-controlled media environment." A proposed law would increase government power over media outlets and make reporting "humiliating and offensive" news a criminal offense.

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Opaque Standards for European Union Lobbyists

The European Commission has backed the introduction of a voluntary register for lobbyists seeking to influence European Union officials. "All these groups or bodies are invited to register publicly whom they represent and what their objectives are. They are invited to declare funding sources and major clients," the commission stated.

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TheWeekInCongress (March 19-23, 2007)

Capitol Hill was on center stage this past week, as Congress took on a number of high-profile issues. This week, as usual, we turn to Robert McElroy's TheWeekInCongress for a thorough look at the bills debated and passed since Monday. Follow the headlines below to the Congresspedia articles covering the respective issues, which in turn link to and heavily rely on McElroy's analyses.

Pakistan People's Party Plans U.S. Lobbying Campaign

In February the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) hired BKSH & Associates, Burson-Marsteller and the polling company Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, to promote the need for "free, open and transparent elections in Pakistan in 2007." The contract, which runs to June 2007, could be worth as much as $250,000.

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Public Relations: The International Language

"Overseas political groups are increasingly seeking to raise their legitimacy and sell their agendas in their home countries through communications outreach to US politicians, media, think tanks, and other influential audiences," writes PR Week.

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