Sunlight Blogger Round-up: Judgeship Applications to be disclosed


Carol Geiger, Steve Hall and Kathy Posner all have one thing in common. To see their government held accountable and  inspire transparency in the actions of public officials. Using their different platforms, they stimulate public debate while sharing with us the changes in their communities. You too can be like them. Taking opportunity of community blogs enables citizens to voice their opinion about how they are being governed. As this selection of blog posts shows, the public can push for changes that make previously confidential but relevant information such as judgeship applications, known to them. Likewise, read about the latest move to fight fraud in Illinois…

  • Illinois State Rep. Jack Franks has introduced a new bill to amend the Illinois State Auditing Act to make it easier for citizens to report allegations of fraud in government. It would also strengthen the state’s Auditor General office. On the Kathy Posner blog, see how she lays out her support for “blowing the whistle a little louder.”
  • Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of Texas, has ordered prison officials to disclose details about the drugs used in lethal injections. Steve Hall blogs on the Stand Down Texas Project that the ruling was prompted by the Austin American Statesman requesting information about suppliers and costs of the now scarce drugs.
  • Yakov Shafranovich offers a better plan for transparency in Baltimore: publishing all city boards and agencies meeting notices and minutes online, instead of televising them as the city council’s president recently suggested. In Shafranovich’s opinion, it would be “transparent, cheaper, and broader,” to have written records that can be searched and perused online unlike a TV broadcast. On his Shaftek Blog, he also examines the highlights and lowlights of current state and city law on public information.
  • Judge Mary Tabor of the Iowa Court of Appeals has recommended that applications of candidates for judgeships in Iowa should be made public in order to build more trust in the state judiciary. Referring to an article in the Des Moines Register, Peter Hardin tracks Iowa’s system for filling judicial positions on the Gavel Grab.
  • Carol Geiger of the Texas Vox wrote about the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission’s move to make environment issues more public by releasing a report on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Citizens can post their comments before recommendations are made on January 12, 2011.