Friday, April 3, 2009

Welcoming others to fight against secrecy

Couldn't be happier to see two Washington D.C.-based groups join in the criticism of Gov. Steve Beshear's weak attempt to quell criticism of government secrecy in Kentucky.

The Sunlight Foundation and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law joined the Bluegrass Institute in our long-time exposure of Beshear's efforts. The Louisville Courier Journal's Tom Loftus did a mighty fine job of covering the issue:

"The Beshear administration's initiative to put the details of state spending online is getting poor reviews from national groups that monitor government transparency."

"Kentucky was listed yesterday among the seven worst states for disclosing state contracting information online by Ralph Nader and his Center for the Study of Responsive Law."

Bluegrass Institute's Jim Waters summed up the issue well:
"It's an aggregate approach, not a specific approach," he said. "Specifics are what taxpayers and government watchdogs want and what the politicians resist."

The funniest part of Loftus' story came when Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller suggested improvement is two years off.
""We welcome specific criticism because we're just getting started and we have no agenda other than making this as transparent as possible," Miller said. He added, though, that with the state's bleak budget outlook, improvements that would require significant staff time or expensive computer services will have to wait at least through mid-2010."

Where has Miller been? If Beshear and friends got with the program when Rep. Jim DeCesare first put up his transparency bill for the 2008 session or when Secretary of State Trey Grayson starting urging him along in June 2008, we could have had the best transparency site in the nation by now instead of bringing up the rear again.

1 comment:

Barry said...

Good stuff, David. It's not often you get to say "thanks" to Ralph Nader!

Barry A. Saturday