The third wave of civic reform; censorship in the App Store; and more.

  • Tech and the presidentials: Vox’s Ezra Klein has noticed that “The tools that party insiders use to decide both electoral and legislative outcomes are being weakened by new technologies and changing media norms,” and posits that this explains why outsiders and insurgents like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Bernie Sanders are doing much better than party insiders want and media elites would expect. Couched that carefully, Klein’s statement isn’t really controversial, though clickbait being what it is, he portentously titled his post, “A theory of how American politics is changing.”
  • Not surprisingly, Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum disagrees that anything that seismic has happened.

  • My view: Sanders (who is close to hitting the million mark in his small donor total—one-fourth the total number of donors Barack Obama had in 2008 by the end of the election) is clearly benefiting from his and his supporters’ mastery of online media. I suspect that Trump, Carson and Fiorina are benefiting more from rightwing talk radio. But either way, the old “Gang of 500” (Mark Halperin’s term for the “campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits, and journalists who make up the modern-day political establishment”) has far less influence over the winnowing process than ever.

  • Food for thought: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the disruptive impact of the sharing economy, featuring testimony from executives from Intuit, Uber, Thumbtack, the Internet Association and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

  • This is civic tech: The Sunlight Foundation’s president Chris Gates takes to to describe his vision of the “third wave of civic reform” where evidence based on open data helps communities runs themselves more effectively.

  • Government websites should start improving, prodded by new design standards developed in part by 18F and the U.S. Digital Service, reports Alex Howard for the Huffington Post.

  • This is civic dreck: The mayor of Lewiston, Maine wants to create an online registry of state welfare recipients, but as the Huffington Post’s Arthur Delaney reports, he isn’t getting much support in the legislature.

  • Sam Biddle of Gawker zings Apple for censoring an app made by Josh Begley of The Intercept that notifies users of U.S. drone strikes. The company said it was removed from the App Store due to “excessively crude or objectionable content.” Meanwhile, as Biddle notes, Apple happily hosts dozens of crude and objectionable apps that let people track their body smells, stalk women, and the like.