iSolon.org is a policy institute committed to exploring and advancing opportunities for democratic reform brought about by new information technologies.   It focuses on the most difficult areas of democratic reform─where elected officials have a conflict of interest in bringing about reforms that might reduce their own power.

New from iSolon.org

March 21, 2014
R.I. needs a constitutional convention
ProvidenceJournalFrontPageMasthead--BlueThe Providence Journal publishes J.H. and Sage Snider’s op-ed providing a historical, political, and democratic analysis of Rhode Island’s November 4, 2014 referendum to convene a constitutional convention. On March 23, 2014, the Sunday edition of the Providence Journal ran a letter commenting on this op-ed.

January 28, 2014
White House goes mum on ‘We the People’ petition site
WashingtonTimesLogoThe Washington Times cites J.H. Snider’s critique of the White House’s We The People petition website.

Baltimore Sun

December 16, 2013
The public, not the courts, should decide
J.H. Snider’s op-ed in the Baltimore Sun on the proper role of the judiciary in limiting voters’ ability to choose among political candidates.  Covered in Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog.  On March 26, 2014, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled in agreement with the analysis in this op-ed.

November 6, 2013
The State Of MarylandJ.H. Snider’s written testimony regarding reforming Maryland’s Public Information Act submitted to the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government .

September 25, 2013
The State Of Maryland
J.H. Snider’s public testimony before the Maryland General Assembly’s  Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government concerning material omissions in Maryland’s StateStat, a collection of data to make Maryland government “more accountable and more efficient” (see Snider’s video testimony from 1:02:25 to 1:11:26 for opening remarks,  and 1:11:26 to 1:24:08 for Q & A) .

September 20, 2013
Updating Americans’ First Amendment Right to Petition Their Government
HarvardLawSchoolLogo--JPEGJ.H. Snider’s luncheon presentation sponsored by the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The presentation includes a Powerpoint and webcast (compatible with Apple’s Quicktime).

August 20, 2013
Is Online Transparency Just a Feel-Good Sham?
NationalJournalLogoNational Journal cites J.H. Snider on the intermixing of real and fake participatory democracy as illustrated by the White House’s We The People petition website and the House Majority Leader’s Citizen Cosponsor Project.

August 8, 2013
Think Tanks’ Dirty Little Secret: Power, Public Policy, and Plagiarism
Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for EthicsThe Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University publishes J.H. Snider’s working paper on the incentives for credit taking vs. giving at Washington, DC public policy think tanks.  Covered in Think Tank Watch, August 13, 2013.

August 2, 2013
EyeOnAnnapolisLogoJ.H. Snider writes two commentaries in Eye on Annapolis illustrating the dismal politics of employee compensation transparency in his local school district.  See School Board Pays Maxwell $4,582/Day In July; Maryland Taxpayers Pay Perkins $410,018 Signing Bonus on Top of $249,735 Annual Salary and Maxwell’s Unreported $1 Million Signing Bonus with Prince George’s County, Courtesy of Maryland Taxpayers.

June 27, 2013
Anne Arundel’s Next Superintendent Should Restore Integrity to SMOB Elections
EyeOnAnnapolisLogoJ.H. Snider describes the potential for abuse in an obscure type of election: for student members of boards of education.  In Maryland, more than half the population lives in a school district with a student member of the board with at least partial voting rights.  Covered in Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog.

May 6, 2013
Alleviating Think Tank Plagiarism
3rdWorldConferenceOnResearchIntegrityJ.H. Snider’s presentation at the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity, Montreal, Canada.

March 15, 2013
EyeOnAnnapolisLogoShame On Maryland’s State Board Of Elections
Eye on Annapolis publishes J.H. Snider’s Sunshine Week 2013 commentary critiquing the lack of sunshine at the Maryland’s election board.  Covered in Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog.

February 7, 2013
The State Of MarylandJ.H. Snider’s testimony on two bills before the Maryland House’ of Delegate’s Committee on Health and Government Operations.  Both bills concern needed reforms to Maryland’s Open Meetings Act.  The first, HB 139, concerns online training; the second, HB 140,  penalties for noncompliance.

Baltimore Sun

January 30, 2013
The Leopold case: bad behavior, vague crimes
The Baltimore Sun publishes J.H. Snider’s op-ed on the inequitable enforcement of election law in Maryland.

January 24, 2013
The State Of MarylandJ.H. Snider’s testimony before the Maryland Senate’s Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs concerning how to make the Anne Arundel County Public School System more democratically accountable.

January 21, 2013
The Huffington PostThe Presidential Inaugural Ticket Sweepstakes
The Huffington Post publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary critiquing the misleading and undemocratic way Congress has been allocating tickets to the presidential inaugural swearing-in.

January 15, 2013
Presidential Inaugural Pork
TheHillLogoThe Hill publishes J.H. Snider’s op-ed critiquing the way the President and Congress have been allocating inaugural tickets to their supporters at public expense.

January 14, 2013
When We the People Talk It’s Not Always Pretty
NextgovNextgov, a publication of the National Journal Group, Inc., cites J.H. Snider on the merits of the White House’s We The People petition website.

January 11, 2013
WashingtonTimesLogo
Obama online petition site: Direct democracy or empty gesture?
The Washington Times cites J.H. Snider’s critique of the White House’s We The People petition website.

Education Week

January 4, 2013
In the Dark About Early School Buses
Education Week publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the need for greater transparency concerning public K12 school bus schedules.  Reprinted in the February issue of School Transportation Director.

January 3, 2013
White House’s ‘We The People’ Petitions Find Mixed Success
NPR LogoNPR’s All Things Considered interviews J.H. Snider about the strengths and weaknesses of the White House’s We The People petition website.  For J.H. Snider’s most recent Huffington Post commentary on the We The People website, see The White House’s We The People Petition Website: First Year Report Card.

December 18, 2012
Legislature launches new website
MarylandReporter.com cites J.H. Snider on the deficiencies of Maryland’s updated legislative information website.

December 12, 2012
Washington’s Evolving Think Tanks

PoliticoPolitico publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on what Senator DeMint’s move to the Heritage Foundation reveals about Washington’s evolving think tanks.  Covered in Think Tank Watch.

December 4, 2012
The State Of MarylandJ.H. Snider’s written Testimony concerning needed reforms to Maryland’s Public Information Act submitted to the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government.

November 6, 2012
Maryland manipulates ‘majority’ vote
MarylandReporter.com publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary critiquing the procedures of the Maryland State Board of Elections.

November 2, 2012
Casinos to ‘frankenfood’: Big-money referendums
The Wall Street Journal‘s Marketwatch cites iSolon.org’s data on Maryland’s statewide referenda.

October 18, 2012
The PatchSpending on ballot questions highest in Maryland’s history
Local Patches publish J.H. Snider’s article on the extraordinary spending on Maryland’s statewide ballot questions.

October 17, 2012
J.H. Snider’s prepared Testimony concerning needed reforms to Maryland’s Open Meetings Act before the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government.  Covered in the MarylandReporter.org‘s Committee asks for recommended changes in Open Meetings Act, October 18, 2012, and Joint Committee’s 2012 Interim Report.

October 8, 2012
VotersEdge.org/Maryland
iSolon.org and Maplight.org launch a new website to track referenda on Maryland’s November 6, 2012 statewide ballot.  The website provides voters with one-stop access to nonpartisan information about the statewide referenda.  For Maplight’s election wrap-up for VotersEdge.org, see Fall 2012 Newsletter.

September 23, 2012
Baltimore SunOn gambling vote, what is meant by a ‘majority’?

The print edition of the Baltimore Sun publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary arguing that Maryland’s General Assembly, depending on its political self interest, has inconsistently interpreted majority clauses in Maryland’s Constitution.

September 23, 2012
The Huffington PostThe White House’s We The People Petition Website: First Year Report Card
The Huffington Post publishes J.H. Snider’s 1st year report card on the White House’s We the People petition website.   Covered in Benton HeadlinesLiberal Roundup, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium’s December newsletter.  Responded to in White House press release.

September 1, 2012
Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University releases names of 2012-13 fellows
J.H. Snider appointed a non-residential Lab Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics for the 2012-2013 academic year.

August 31, 2012
The PatchAACPS Creates Online Video Archive of BOE meetings
The Severna Park Patch publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the accessibility of the local public school system’s public meetings.

August 5, 2012
General Assembly committee discusses open government
Maryland’s Kent County News cites J.H. Snider’s testimony before Maryland’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government.

July 19, 2012
The PatchMaryland General Assembly Releases Beta Legislative Website 2.0
Patches in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, publish J.H. Snider’s coverage of the most recent meeting of the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government.

July 18, 2012
J.H. Snider’s prepared Testimony concerning the future of the General Assembly’s legislative information website before the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government.  A video of the testimony, including Q&A with the legislators, can be found here, starting at 1:06:20.

June 12, 2012
WYPR Radio’s Midday Show on Maryland’s evolving system of citizen referendums and voting
Baltimore Sun columnist and Midday host Dan Rodricks moderates an hourlong discussion on the pros and cons of online referendum petitioning and online voting with iSolon.org President J.H. Snider.

May 30, 2012
TR DailyNTIA Sets Framework for Industry-Agency Review of 1755-1850 MHz Band
TRDaily cite’s J.H. Snider’s critique of the NTIA’s open government practices.

May 8, 2012
The Huffington PostThe Real Meaning of the GSA Scandal

J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article critiquing public’s fixation on a scandal involving negligible waste.  TR Daily reports on the comparison drawn between the GSA and NTIA-FCC.TR Daily

March 30, 2012
How to fix Maryland’s D-minus in corruption
The Washington ExaminerThe print edition of the Washington Examiner publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary, How to fix Maryland’s D-minus in corruption, arguing that convening a state constitutional convention is the most politically realistic way of addressing a certain class of democratic reform issues where incumbent legislators have a blatant conflict of interest in proposing and implementing reform.

March 18, 2012
The PatchWrap-up on Maryland’s 10 Year Redistricting Cycle
Patches in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, publish J.H. Snider’s commentary explaining the different press incentives for covering Maryland’s Congressional versus General Assembly redistricting.

March 11, 2012
Here’s why Maryland politicos must convene a constitutional convention
The Washington ExaminerThe print edition of the Washington Examiner publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary observing that, when the issue involves a “political question,” Maryland has one standard for upholding the law for average citizens and another for the politically powerful. Cited in a March 12, 2013 Washington Examiner editorial, Trashing the democratic process in Maryland.

March 12, 2012
Secrecy and Corruption at the NTIA
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article critiquing the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s management of spectrum, including its culture of secrecy.

February 23, 2012
The Huffington PostOn Behalf of the 1%, the Best Bargain Since Manhattan
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article critiquing the spectrum giveaways contained in the fine print of the recently passed Congressional legislation promoted as extending the payroll-tax cut for the middle class.

February 12, 2012
It will take a con-con to untangle Maryland’s gerrymanders
The Washington PostThe print edition of the Washington Post publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary arguing that the Maryland General Assembly has a conflict of interest in solving the gerrymander problem, which is the type of democratic reform problem constitutional conventions were invented to address.  It is covered in the print edition of the Washington Post‘s  letters-to-the-editor, and by the Campaign for a Stronger DemocracyThe Media Briefing, and the Benton Foundation.

January 19, 2012
Baltimore SunState ignores voters on constitutional convention; Majority voted in favor of con-con in 2010, yet it hasn’t been convened
The Baltimore Sun publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary arguing that the refusal of Maryland’s Governor and General Assembly to convene the con-con voters supported violates Maryland’s Constitution.  Paul Jacob’s Common Sense covered it under the headline Constitutional Coup d’état?  For more information, see Marylanders for a State Constitutional Convention at MarylandConCon.org.

January 18, 2012
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)Senator pushes for elected school board, again
The Capital cites J.H. Snider’s testimony calling for more local electoral transparency before the Maryland General Assembly’s Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

January 17, 2012
Personal Democracy Media, including TechPresidentEvery Bill Coming Before the House Should Soon Be Available Online in Machine-Readable Format
Personal Democracy Media’s TechPresident cites J.H. Snider on the U.S. House of Representatives’ new legislative information website.

January 8, 2012
Severna Park Split Into Three Legislative Districts
The Severna Park Patch publishes J.H. Snider’s written comments to the Governor of Maryland’s Redistricting Advisory Committee regarding the transparencyt of its proceedings.

December 15, 2011
Transparency committee starts talking
MarylandReporter.com cites J.H. Snider’s testimony at the inaugural meeting of the Maryland General Assembly’s Transparency Committee.

December 8, 2011
Government-wide Information Sharing for Democratic Accountability
The Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution publishes J.H. Snider’s paper on why the politics of using unique identifiers to track powerful political players across government databases may be less dismal than widely believed.  The Open Government Coalition gave it the lead spot in its weekly newsletter.  It was also covered in the U.K.’s Great Emancipator, the Campaign for a Stronger Democracy’s December Newsletter, and American City & County‘s December Newsletter.

November 19, 2011
Update on the White House’s new petition website
J.H. Snider’s latest ruminations published on the National Coalition For Dialogue and Deliberation’s community news website.  The Campaign for a Stronger Democracy gives it the lead spot in its November Newsletter.

October 31, 2011
The Case of the Missing White House Petitions
The Huffington PostJ.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article on the frustrations, including technical glitches, citizens experience using the White House’s new We The People petition website.  Daily Candy featured two quotes from the article, and Techpresident.com cited it when reporting on the White House’s subsequent announcement that it was working to fix the technical glitches.

October 31, 2011
White House responds to marijuana and God petitions
NextgovNextGov quotes from J.H. Snider’s October  20, 2011 article, What Is the Democratic Function of the White House’s We The People Petition Website?

October 27, 2011
The Huffington PostWhither Journalistic Ethics?  Why Politico has fallen short in its coverage of spectrum issues
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article on the material but undisclosed conflicts of interest Politico has in covering spectrum policy issues.

October 24, 2011
The Huffington PostThe Broadcast Industry’s Free TV Scam Redux: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article on the newly announed Free TV and Broadband Coalition.

October 20, 2011
The Huffington PostWhat Is the Democratic Function of the White House’s We The People Petition Website?
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article critiquing the October 18, 2011 front page article in the Wall Street Journal, which is bereft of understanding the democratic purposes of a petition website.  America Speaks reposted it on its blog Campaign for a Stronger Democracy commented on it.

October 17, 2011
The Huffington PostCould Federal Government Privacy Policy Kill Online News?
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article discussing an underappreciated linkage between privacy policy and media policy.

October 11, 2011
The Huffington PostThe White House’s New We the People Petition Website
J.H. Snider’s Huffington Post article critiquing the White House’s new website facilitating the public’s First Amendment right to petition its government. The Wall Street Journal reposted it on its blog, and a week later ran a similar story on its front page.

October 5, 2011
The Huffington PostSoaking the Rich in Obama’s Jobs Plan?  Its multi-billion dollar spectrum giveaway undercuts the president’s populist message J.H. Snider’s article, published in the Huffington Post and reposted on the Wall Street Journal‘s blog, criticizes the tacit spectrum giveaway contained in the American Jobs Act of 2011.  TR Daily reports on the article.

September 6, 2011
A proposal to modernize public meeting spaces across Federal agencies
The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation publishes J.H. Snider’s letter to senior White House officials regarding the future design of public meeting spaces at Federal agencies.

August 30, 2011
Maryland’s Congressional Redistricting: Let’s Make it Transparent and Accountable
The Severna Park Patch publishes J.H. Snider’s written comments to the Governor of Maryland’s Redistricting Advisory Committee regarding the transparencyt of its proceedings.

August 16, 2011
Multichannel ‘may not win online war’
Inside Retail
cites J.H. Snider and Terra Ziporyn’s 1992 book (Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change The Way We Shop and What We Buy, St. Martin’s Press)as a landmark in the emerging field of ecommerce.  Similar recent press: Spark of Hope and The History of Online Shopping in Nutshell.

July 6, 2011
Making Public Community Media Accessible
The Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution publishes J.H. Snider’s paper on the need to rethink public policy regarding local public media, especially the design and use of public meeting rooms.  The paper is covered in the the Deliberative Democracy Consortium’s newsletter and National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation’s monthly update.

June 9, 2011
Information Needs of Communties: The changing media landscape in a broadband age
Federal Communications CommissionIn its report on the future of public media, the FCC cites J.H. Snider in the text and six times in the footnotes–more than at least one think tank that received millions of dollars in foundation funding to help move this debate forward.

May 26, 2011
Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics announces fellows
J.H. Snider appointed a non-residential Network Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics for the 2011-2012 academic year.  The annual report can be found here (search for “Snider”).

May 5, 2011
Rosetta Stone for corporate IDs would simplify accountability
Federal Computer Week
cites iSolon.org’s years of work addressing the need for governmentwide organizational identifiers.

April 20, 2011
General Assembly moves forward with more transparency, but there’s still a long way to go 
The Maryland Reporter cites J.H. Snider on the Maryland General Assembly’s transparency agenda and accomplishments during its recently completed 2011 session.

April 4, 2011
Open Government Advocate Blasts NTIA on Transparency
TRDaily (Telecommunications Reports) cites J.H. Snider’s case study of federal agency compliance with the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative at the National Telecommunications and Information Administation (NTIA).

March 23, 2011
Maryland’s Open Meetings Act
Maryland Senate testimony by J.H. Snider on House Bill 48.

March 15, 2011
Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government Act
Maryland Senate testimony by J.H. Snider on Senate Bill 644.

Sunshine Week

March 15, 2011
Maryland’s Public Information Act
Maryland Senate testimony by J.H. Snider on Senate Bill 740, an amended version of House Bill 37 (see February 1, 2011 below).

February 17, 2011
Maryland’s Open Meetings Act
Written comments to Maryland House of Delegates by J.H. Snider on  House Bill 48.

February 1, 2011
Maryland’s Public Information Act
Maryland House of Delegates testimony by J.H. Snider on House Bill 37.

November 14, 2010
Give Marylanders the constitutional convention they voted for
The Washington Post publishes  J.H. Snider’s op-ed on the implications of the results of the Nov. 2 Maryland constitutional convention ballot referendum.  The online version, with a different title and URL, was published on the afternoon of Nov. 13 under the title Con-con promise comes due for O’Malley.

November 3, 2010
Maryland constitutional convention uncertain
The Baltimore Sun cites J.H. Snider on the November 2, 2010 Maryland ballot referendum on whether to convene a state constitutional conveniton.

November 1, 2010 
WYPR Radio’s Midday Show on Maryland’s November 2, 2010 ballot referendum on whether to convene a constitutional convention.
Baltimore Sun columnist and Midday host Dan Rodricks moderates an hourlong discussion on the three statewide propositions on the November 2, 2010 ballot. Leading off the program and discussing the Maryland state constitutional convention question was iSolon.org president J.H. Snider.

October 24, 2010
Voters will decide whether to call a constitutional convention
The Baltimore Sun cites J.H. Snider on the November 2, 2010 Maryland ballot referendum on whether to convene a state constitutional conveniton.

October 22, 2010
The National Press ClubConnecting the Dots for Democratic Accountability
iSolon sponsored event at the National Press Club, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  At the event, J.H. Snider presented his working paper: Connecting the Dots for Democratic Accountability: Semantic Web-Based Information Sharing Policy and the Future of Investigative Reporting.  An updated draft was posted here on Thursday, October 28, 2010.  The Powerpoint presentation of the paper can be found here.

October 22, 2010
The National Press ClubIs Con-Con Phobia Justified?
iSolon sponsored event at the National Press Club, 3:00 pm to 4:30.   The accompanying press release, featured late breaking news from Maryland’s two gubernatorial candidates: O’Malley and Ehrlich Endorse “Yes” Vote On Nov. 2 Maryland Con-Con Ballot Referendum. The event was reported on in the October 25, 2010 issue of the Daily Record: Experts: Md. constitutional convention unlikely.

October 13, 2010
Pro and Con: A state constitutional convention comes up for a vote—whether politicians, or voters, want it or not
The Baltimore City Paper cites J.H. Snider on the November 2, 2010 Maryland constitutional convention ballot referendum.

October 13, 2010
Rewriting Maryland constitution is up to voters, but not many know
The Maryland Reporter cites J.H. Snider on the November 2, 2010 Maryland constitutional convention ballot referendum.

 October 12, 2010
A Historic Year for State Con-Cons
The Huffington PostThe Huffington Post publishes this article co-authored by J.H. Snider and G. Alan Tarr on why 2010 is a historic year for state con-cons, a much ignored and misunderstood mechanism of democratic reform.

October 11, 2010
The Pew Charitable TrustsFour States to weigh calls for constitutional convention
Stateline cites J.H. Snider on state constitutional conventions.

September 22, 2010
The road to term limits in Maryland:  A constitutional convention is the state’s best chance for reform
The Baltimore Sun publishes J.H. Snider’s oped arguing that a state constitutional convention may be the best way to pass democratic reforms, such as term limits, where the legislature has a blatant conflict of interest with voters.  For more information on Maryland’s November 2, 2010 ballot item to convene a state constitutional convention, see www.MarylandConCon.org.

August 3, 2010
The New America FoundationThe Challenge of Writing a New Constitution with Direct Democracy, panel presentation at the 2010 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy
J.H. Snider describes the role state constitutional conventions should play in the democratic process, with a focus on Maryland’s state constitutional ballot item on November 2, 2010.

July 5, 2010
Md. to vote in November on whether to hold constitutional convention
The Washington Post features J.H. Snider in a front page article on the merits of changing Maryland’s Constitution by voting yes to convene a convention on the November 2, ballot.  For details, see Marylandconcon.org.

June 24, 2010
Maryland to webcast more hearings, meetings over Internet
The MarylandReporter.com describes J.H. Snider’s critique  of yesterday’s announcement by Maryland’s Governor and other state leaders concerning government transparency

June 15, 2010
See full size imageA year of digital TV: who won the transition?
Ars Technica (a division of Wired Magazine) cites J.H. Snider’s reflections on the DTV transition on its one-year anniversary.

June 14, 2010
Education WeekIt’s the Public’s Data: Democratizing School Board Records
Education Week publishes J.H. Snider’s article on using new information technology to enhance accees to public school board records.

June 3, 2010
Experts Debate Federal Spectrum Leasing, Transparency Proposals
TRDaily (Telecommunications Reports) cites J. H. Snider on the lack of transparency within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)May 30, 2010
Troublemaker’ fights secrecy in government The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) publishes an article on J.H. Snider’s local open government efforts.

May 24, 2010
Federal Trade CommissionFederal Trade Commission Staff Discussion Draft: Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism
The FTC discussion draft cites iSolon.org’s conflict-of-interest automation proposal six times (see March 10, 2010 presentation and working paper below).  The draft will be discussed at the FTC’s June 15, 2010 National Press Club event on the Future of Journalism.

May 20, 2010
Bloomberg BusinessweekHow Craig McCaw Built a 4G Network on the Cheap: The mobile pioneer’s Clearwire controls airwaves worth $20 billion or more
Bloomberg Businessweek cites J.H. Snider’s work on media policy.

May 8, 2010
2010 Freedom of Information Summit
The National Freedom Of Information CoalitionJ.H. Snider presents on Transparency in the Digital Age.  WikiFOIA summarized the summit here.

April 29, 2010
House transparency caucus vows to regain public’s trust in government 
NextgovNextgov
, a publication of the National Journal Group, Inc., cites J.H. Snider on the political implications of the lack of Democratic leadership support for the new Congressional Transparency Caucus.

April 18, 2010
Maryland’s Fake Open Government
The Washington Post publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on what’s wrong with open government in Maryland and how to fix it.  One proposal is to update Maryland’s Constitution.  For information on how that might happen, see MarylandConCon.org

April 6, 2010
Spotting Holes in OpenGov Plans for Public Engagement
Steve Buckley from U.S. Transparency interviews J.H. Snider about his essay, Deterring Fake Public Participation

April 4, 2010
A hotbed of techie agents of government transparency
The Washington Post cites J.H. Snider on the recent “TransparencyCamp” held in Washington, DC.

March 26, 2010
Parent school group picks new leaders
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)Capital article on J.H. Snider’s election as vice chair of Anne Arundel County, Maryland’s Countywide Citizen Advisory Committee with a mandate to use new information technology to improve democratic deliberation among public school parents.

March 14, 2010
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)Sunshine Week:  Experts say access to online public records must expand
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) quotes J.H. Snider on Anne Arundel County’s compliance with not only only the letter but the spirit of Maryland’s right-to-know laws.  The Capital quotes Snider again in Open government for more than just a week, March 18, 2010.

March 10, 2010
How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Federal Trade CommissionJ.H. Snider presents his proposal for using semantic web technologies to automate conflict-of-interest reporting at this FTC workshop.  The proposal consisted of a presentation (an audio recording of the presentation starts at 143:20) and accompanying working paper, both with the same title, “Automating Conflict-of-Interest Reporting.”

The Stennis CenterMarch 1, 2010
How can we strengthen two-way communication with the public and improve governing in the new media environment?
J.H. Snider’s presentation before the 111th Congress Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program.

March 1, 2010
Scholars look to increase research on open government
NextgovNextgov, a publication of the National Journal Group, Inc., cites J.H. Snider on how elected officials’ agendas can set academic and foundation agendas, and the lag time between open government innovation and scholarly assessments of it.

February 19, 2010

Deterring Fake Public Participation
International Association of Public ParticipationThe International Journal of Public Participation publishes J.H. Snider’s essay on the growing plague of fake public participation in America.

February 9, 2010
WYPR Radio’s Midday Show on Maryland’s November 2, 2010 ballot referendum on whether to convene a constitutional convention.
Baltimore Sun
columnist and Midday host Dan Rodricks moderates an hourlong discussion on the pros and cons of a Maryland constitutional convention with iSolon.org President J.H. Snider, Maryland Senate Minority Leader Allan Kittleman, and Maryland Legislative Counsel Dan Friedman.

February 5, 2010
Religious education at statehouse an example of what the public doesn’t know
The Iowa IndependentThe Iowa Independent cites J.H. Snider’s work on a rarely disclosed but important legislative perk.

February 4, 2010
Rewrite state constitution?  It’s a question for voters
The Baltimore Sun cites J.H. Snider’s Baltimore Sun op-ed in describing the Maryland Senate’s debate over SB26: Maryland Constitutional Convention – Sense of the Voters.

January 22, 2010
Open Government: Defining, Designing, and Sustaining Transparency
Princeton UniversityJ.H. Snider presents his arguments on how the open government public policy debate should be framed at this two-day workshop sponsored by Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy.   The video of Snider’s presentation begins at 38:00.

January 8, 2010
Md’s Ballot Surprise: Voters in November will have a rare opportunity to shape the state’s constitution
The Baltimore Sun publishes J.H. Snider’s op-ed on Maryland’s 2010 ballot item to call a constitutional convention.  For additional information, see Marylanders for a State Constitutional Convention.

December 18, 2009
Debate the News:  Summarizing the Comments Submitted to the FTC
Free PressFree Press’s SaveTheNews.org includes iSolon.org’s comments in its roundup of comments submitted for the  Federal Trade Commission’s workshop on the future of journalism.

November 30, 2009
Think Tanks
For a TV broadcast aired throughout the Middle East, the Voice of America interviews J.H. Snider on the lack of think tank accountability in the United States.

September 5, 2009
If Men Were Angels….: Should the Checks & Balances System Include Electoral Reform Juries?

Paper presented at the Representation and Electoral Systems Division’s theme panel, Citizens’ Assemblies and Deliberative Democracy, at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto, Canada.

July 28, 2009
Public more satisfied with agencies that pursue transparency online, study says
NextgovNextgov, a publication of the National Journal Group, Inc., cites J.H. Snider’s methodological critique of a market research firm’s report on the benefits to Federal agencies of improved transparency.

July 22, 2009
Automating Watchdog Reporting
Harvard Veritas LogoHarvard’s Nieman Watchdog publishes J.H. Snider’s article arguing for the development and implementation of a Bias Modeling Language to automate watchdog journalism.  This article launches iSolon.org’s BML Semantic Web Project.

July 9, 2009
Citizens Assembly News Digest — Special Edition — July 2009
This special edition of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest provides an analysis of the referendum results on the recommendations of the f British Columbia’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

July 4, 2009
Come On and Take a Free Ride
The Rumpus, an online magazine, discusses J.H. Snider’s Nieman Watchdog article on media free riding.

June 27, 2009
Harvard Veritas LogoTaking steps to deal with media parasitism
Harvard’s Nieman Watchdog publishes J.H. Snider’s second article in a two-part series on  the problem and solution to media free riding.

June 22, 2009
Harvard Veritas LogoFree riding: a deeply embedded media tradition
Harvard’s Nieman Watchdog publishes J.H. Snider’s first article in a two-part series on  the problem and solution to media free riding.

June 12, 2009
Harvard Veritas LogoThe switch to digital TV—an early bailout that went awry
Harvard’s Nieman Watchdog publishes J.H. Snider’s critique of the digital television transition on its final day.  The transition began more than 20 years ago.

June 11-14, 2009
Annual Convening of the National Institute on Money in State Politics
J.H. Snider argues for Redistricting Juries and other related democratic reforms at the annual convening of the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

June 4, 2009
See full size imageShowMeTheSpending.org Coalition News
ShowMeTheSpending.org features J.H. Snider’s work on public school budget transparency.

May 20, 2009
Democratize School Budget Data
Education WeekEducation Week, the leading trade publication in K12 public education, publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on how to use new information technologies to democratize public access to school budget data.

May 12, 2009

Turkeys, Thanksgiving and Roll Call Voting Records

The Thicket At State LegislaturesKarl Kurtz,  the National Conference of State Legislatures’s expert on legislative institutions,  discusses J.H. Snider’s turkey paper in The Thicket at State Legislatures.

May 11, 2009
Journal of Information Technology & PoliticsWould You Ask Turkeys to Mandate Thanksgiving? The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency
The Journal of Information Technology & Politics publishes the final version of J.H. Snider’s working paper researched during the Spring of 2008 while Snider was a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

May 5, 2009
Senate to Expand Transparency of Senate Votes: DeMint thanks Rules Committee for quick response
Following up on his May 1 press release (see below), Senator DeMint thanks the Senate leadership for acting so quickly on his recommendation.  The XML link, tucked inconspicuously and without explanation on the page for Senate floor roll call votes on the Senate, not Thomas website, can be found here.

May 4, 2009
Eye on Redistricting: Florida’s Where the Early Action Is
CQ PoliticsCongressional Quarterly article on the the Hudson/iSolon conference on redistricting reform.

May 4, 2009
Hudson InstituteReforming American Redistricting:  Lessons from British Columbia
Conference on redistricting reform cosponsored by the Hudson Institute and iSolon.org.

May 4, 2009
Hudson InstituteThe Case for Redistricting Juries: Lessons from  British Columbia’s Revolutionary Experiment in Democratic Reform
J.H. Snider’s Working Paper presented at the Hudson/iSolon conference on redistricting reform.

May 1, 2009
DeMint Leads Bipartisan Effort To Make Senate Votes More Transparent: Democrats and Republicans urge modernizing Senate website with easily searchable XML vote database
In a press release announcing a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration seeking to make U.S. Senate roll call votes available to the public using the XML format, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint cites iSolon.org’s work on this issue.

April 27, 2009
Online voting records user unfriendly
CQ PoliticsPolitico‘s Victoria McGrane cites J.H. Snider’s work on public access to legislators’ voting records. For more information, see Would You Ask Turkeys to Mandate Thanksgiving?  The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency (SSRN prepublication working paper version).  On May 6 McGrane wrote a follow-up story, Senate picks up the slack on data, mentioning the impact of her earlier story in getting the Senate to post its roll call votes in XML format.

April 25, 2009
Citizens Assembly News Digest — April 2009
The latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

March 18, 2009
The Washington ExaminerPublic School Systems Should Post Compensation Data Online
The Washington Examiner publishes J.H. Snider’s Sunshine Week commentary on the need to proactively disclose public expenditure data.

March 9, 2009
See full size imageShowMeTheSpending.org Coalition Partners
ShowMeTheSpending.org names iSolon.org a coalition partner.

February 26, 2009
The New America FoundationMixing Advocacy, Scholarly Research and Journalism: Can the New America Foundation Square the Circle?
The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch publishes J.H. Snider’s article on the ethical tensions in a successful, state-of-the-art, public policy think tank.

February 18, 2009
The Washington ExaminerOpen Government Rhetoric Versus Reality
The Washington Examiner publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the politics of the recently passed digital TV legislation.

February 8, 2009
Need Teachers? Show Them the Money
The Washington Post publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the need for better public disclosure of teacher compensation data.  For a related commentary published in Education Week, see America’s Million-Dollar Superintendents.

February 3, 2009
PoliticoStrengthen Think Tank Accountability
Politico publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the need for better public disclosure of think tank ethics and ethical conflicts.

January 21, 2009
Don’t Delay the Digital TV Transition
See full size imageArs Technica publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary critiquing U.S. House and Senate bills seeking to delay the digital TV transition.

December 2, 2008
Future Shop CoverFuture Shop One-Page Flyer
Publicity for Future Shop.

November 18, 2008
Future Shop Praise and Preface
Publicity for Future Shop.

November 14, 2008
Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way We Shop and What We Buy
Future Shop CoverAuthors Guild backinprint.com reprint of the J.H. Snider and Terra Ziporyn book on e-commerce published by St. Martin’s Press in 1992.  The book features a new preface analyzing the growth of e-commerce during the past two decades and forecasting that the changes in the consumer marketplace over the next twenty years could be even greater.

November 12, 2008
Voting for Glass Houses
In the November/December issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Michael Schudson and Danielle Haas report on J.H. Snider’s “Would You Ask Turkeys to Mandate Thanksgiving?”  On May 11, 2009, the Columbia Journalism Review followed up with another story on the same topic, Senate Goes XML: A quiet shift is hailed.

The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)October 1, 2008
School board’s TV debut delayed
The Capital quotes J.H. Snider’s critique of excessively costly and undemocratic televised school board coverage.

September 27, 2008
Spectrum Policy Panel at the 2008 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference
The J.H. Snider’s serves as moderator and discussant.

September 21, 2008
Democracy 2.0 Grant Summit – Money in Politics
J.H. Snider serves as a grant contest judge for this event co-sponsored by Mobilize.org, the Sunlight Foundation, and Common Cause.

August 18, 2008
Americans For Redistricting ReformAmericans for Redistricting Reform Advisory Committee Member Organizations
Americans for Redistricting Reform names iSolon.org as an Advisory Committee Member Organization.

July 19, 2008
Annual meeting of the National Online Legislative Associates (NOLA)
National Online Legislative AssociatesJ.H. Snider presents the findings of his Shorenstein Center working paper and conducts a discussion on the future of technology enhanced legislature procedure, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, July 18-19, 2008. NOLA is the trade association of online legislative information providers.

July 14, 2008
Would You Ask Turkeys To Mandate Thanksgiving?  The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency
The Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy publishes J.H. Snider’s Working Paper #1.  Published in the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, May 2009.

July 14, 2008
Would You Ask Turkeys To Mandate Thanksgiving?  Using Citizens Assemblies to Reform the Process of Democratic Reform
The Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy publishes J.H. Snider’s Working Paper #2.

June 28, 2008
Harvard Hosts 2-Day Citizens Assembly Conference; New Zealand Parliament Allocates $4.3 million for a Citizens Assembly
The latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

June 27, 2008
iSolon.org Launches Citizens Assembly Facebook Group
The Citizens Assembly Facebook group provides an online place for academics and practitioners interested in citizens assembly based democratic reform to come together as a community to pursue their common interests.

May 30, 2008
The Role of News Media in the Governance Agenda
J.H. Snider serves as workshop discussant at this joint event sponsored by the Communication for Governance and Accountability Program at the World Bank and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, May 29-31, 2008.

May 17, 2008
Crackpot or Genius?  Canada Steps onto the World Stage as a Democratic Innovator
The Journal of Public Deliberation publishes J.H. Snider’s concluding remarks at the Harvard University Canada Program’s conference on democratic deficits and citizens assemblies, May 8-10, 2008.

May 14, 2008
See full size imageDesigning Deliberative Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
The Journal of Public Deliberation publishes J.H. Snider’s review of the first major book to be written about citizens assemblies.

April 14, 2008
RockwoodJ.H. Snider selected to be a Rockwood Foundation Fellow in Media, Communications, and Information Policy
Snider will be a Rockwood Foundation Fellow for the 2008-2009 fellowship year.

March 20, 2008
The Quest to Protect Creative Policy Ideas
The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes J.H. Snider’s commentary on the problem of rewarding innovative public policy ideas when it isn’t practical to patent such ideas.

March 17, 2008
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)Online contract access would let in more sunshine In an editorial, the Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) cites J.H. Snider’s critique of government databases that are not integrated with each other.

March 13, 2008
The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland)Councilmen want county contracts published on Web: Say move will increase government transparency
In a front page story, the Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) cites J.H. Snider’s critique of government databases that are not integrated with each other.

February 29, 2008
J.H. Snider on Spectrum Policy (half hour segment, with Snider segment beginning at 18:50)
Counterspin, a radio program run on NPR affiliates, interviews J.H. Snider about his Nieman Watchdog article (see below).

February 28, 2008
OpenTheGovernment.org Coalition Partners
OpenTheGovernment.org names iSolon.org a coalition partner.

February 21, 2008
Harvard Veritas LogoIs the spectrum just too complex for reporters?
Nieman Watchdog publishes a commentary summarizing J.H. Snider’s Kennedy School presentation.

February 19, 2008
The Government’s $19.3 Billion Auction of Spectrum (as of Round 61 on February 12, 2008) Why don’t you know more about the government’s allocation of this vital natural resource?
J.H. Snider argues at a Kennedy School dinner sponsored by the Shorenstein Center that spectrum politics has become a paradigmatic example of special interest politics and that the quality of spectrum journalism is a major cause of the problem.

January 28, 2008
Four Spring Fellows Named
Editor & Publisher reports on the appointment of the four new Harvard Kennedy School of Government Shorenstein Center fellows for Spring Semester 2008, including iSolon.org’s J.H. Snider.

January 17, 2008
Saskatchewan Premier and Citizens Assembly Advocate Defeated; New Zealand Parliament Debates and Defeats Citizens Assembly Legislation
The latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

January 16, 2008
iSolon.org Launches Citizens Assembly Forum (beta version)
The Citizens Assembly Forum provides an online place for academics and practitioners interested in citizens assembly based democratic reform to come together as a community to pursue their common interests.

November 1, 2007
Ontario Citizens’ Assembly Proposal Down But Not Out
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation’s Amy Lang summarizes and reviews the latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

October 19, 2007
Ontario Citizens Assembly Referendum Defeated; Addendum: Saskatchewan Premier Promises a Citizens Assembly if Re-Elected on November 7
The latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

October 11, 2007
New Voting System Goes Down To Defeat
The Ottawa Citizen quotes J.H. Snider, in a front page story, on the significance of Ontario’s experiment with a citizens assembly.

October 5, 2007
School Board Backs TV Idea
Baltimore Sun
quotes J.H. Snider’s critique of local school system’s use of technology to cover itself.

September 14, 2007
Ontario’s Public Education Campaign Launches; U.K.’s Prime Minister Explores Creating a Citizens Assembly
The latest issue of iSolon.org’s Citizens Assembly News Digest.

June 19, 2007
Citizens Assemblies: A Mechanism for Enhancing Legislative Transparency and Accountability

iSolon.org policy brief prepared for the workshop, “Toward More Transparent Government,” held at the National Academies of Science on June 19, 2007.

June 15, 2007
From Dahl to O’Leary: 36 Years of the ‘Yale School of Democratic Reform’
See full size imageJ.H. Snider’s book review essay tracing the history of the citizens assembly proposal from Dahl’s 1970 After the Revolution (Yale University Press) to O’Leary’s 2006 Saving Democracy (Stanford University Press).

Companies Scramble For Consumer Data