U.S. Dependence, Rove's Testimony, Detroit's Political Trauma & the Domestic Records of Terror Detainees

Happy Independence Day, America (a little late)! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. Today, we're going to recap some of the best in transparency and citizen engagement news from the end of last week through yesterday -- Monday, July 07, 2008.

Today's recap starts with a piece entitled, "Red, White and Green" from the Capital Eye blog. While our entire nation has been celebrating our independence from Great Britain, we might actually be more dependent than we realize. According to Capital Eye,

"…36 current members of Congress have collected at least 20 percent of their contributions from a single industry, setting up a scheme of dependence and perhaps the expectation of a tit-for-tat."

Moreover, this dependency on certain industries should concern Americans. If our representatives in government are receiving money from companies, organizations and specific industries, how likely are they to represent our interests over the interests of their donors?

And over on the Corruption Chronicles blog, Detroit is the subject of conversation. According to CC, the city's governing council is being investigated by the federal government for allegedly accepting bribes; the bribes were allegedly accepted by council members in exchange for the approval of a multi million dollar contract. According to CC:

"…several members of the Detroit City Council are suspected of taking bribes to approve a $47 million contract last fall with a Houston company to handle sludge waste from the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The FBI has electronic surveillance evidence of City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers taking bribes from the company, Synagro Technologies."

In other news, Karl Rove will not be testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee. According to CREW, Rove has apparently invoked executive privilege. According to Politico (as per CREW):

"Karl Rove, former White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's top political adviser, is refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on "politicization" within the Justice Dept. Rove had been scheduled to appear next Thursday, July 10."

And over on the Washington Post's Indep Dump blog, focus is centered upon detainees who have been apprehended abroad. Over the past six-and-a-half years, detainees apprehended in the War on Terror have been fingerprinted and processed. As it turns out, hundreds of these individuals have criminal records. According to Post:

"The records suggest that potential enemies abroad know a great deal about the United States because many of them have lived here, officials said. The matches also reflect the power of sharing data across agencies and even countries, data that links an identity to a distinguishing human characteristic such as a fingerprint."

And over on the CommonBlog, it's all about Iran/U.S. relations and the measures currently brewing in the House and Senate.

Also, be sure to check out TPM's Daily Muck for intriguing daily news briefs.