As the nation draws closer to mid-term elections, citizens are continuing to keep a watchful eye on government transparency. Some bloggers have done tremendous work in encouraging their communities to become active participants in political decisions that affect their lives. This week’s selection of blog posts includes a post about a new website to help improve ethics and one on the defense of the public record:
- Technology plays a crucial role in transparency. In Palm Beach, Florida, a new website created to build support for anti-corruption measures — YES on Ethics — is making major progress in pushing for an ethics reform referendum. The referendum is an effort to restore public trust in local government, by including measures such as the creation of an independently-appointed Ethics Commission. Andy Reid sheds more light on how this act will help decrease misuse of public office. Find more details on the Sun Sentinel Blog.
- Take a look at how the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is defending the public record. Public record custodians are accused of charging exorbitant fees to records-seekers as a way of discouraging them from accessing the documents. Ched Macquigg expounds on the loopholes in the state’s Public Records Act on the Diogenes’ six blog
- The “Sunshine Committee,” which makes recommendations to repeal or amend exemptions to the Public Records Act in the state of Washington is reviewing two client-attorney privilege proposals to determine whether some records can be exempted from public disclosure. The proposals, if approved in 2011, may deny access to records that involve controversy and communications between a public official and an attorney. Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy blog has details.
- In Whatcom County Colorado, Dewey Desler, the Deputy Administrator of the City Council stopped council members from discussing wages of the county’s unionized staff in a public meeting. See how political blogger Sam Taylor leads the informal debate on the Bellingham Herald blog.