Wouldn’t it be nice to know what your elected officials are up to? Where are they going and who are they meeting with? It really isn’t a monumental task to publish this information. “Security concerns” is the blanket disclaimer for not sharing schedules. Yet this point is negated if a calendar is published retroactively.
Recently, elected officials have moved to alter GRAMA in Utah. Some have said this is for efficiency reasons and others have argued that it is for legislator privacy. I don’t think the public really wants to know your family birthdays or where you exercise. However, there is little excuse for not disclosing what is being done with public policy. How is it being formed? Who is lobbying and what is their point of view? Does a representative give full consideration to everyone equally? Will we ever know?
The national Democrats have been doing a whole lot of noisemaking regarding ethics in government since the Abramoff scandal. They demand legislative reform on lobbyists and sign “Ethics Declarations” for the cameras. Yet personal disclosure isn’t something that requires a law to happen. This is yet another chance to lead by example that is squandered by incompetence and fear.
To that end, I’m publishing my campaign calendar. Note that this calendar does not have personal events, nor anything related to my business activities. With modern software, it is a simple matter to create multiple calendars to keep private issues private. As a good-will gesture to all of our elected officials, I’d be happy to facilitate publishing their own legislative calendars. I see little excuse for not doing so.