Who, What, Where, and When

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.

2 thoughts on “Who, What, Where, and When

  1. I agree that disclosure is important. Riverton City failed a test last year for failing to disclose a report under a gramma request. It’s important to know what is being done in our Government.

    However, I would like to be able to email a congressman with my personal thoughts and views, and perhaps disclose part of my personal life in order to make my point. Knowing that whatever I share with my Congressman could become open to the public is unnerving. I would be less likely to be open to my feelings and personal family struggles if I knew that my concerns were to be public.

    Disclosure is important… but part of the reform is on the right track — in order to protect the average citizen. The purpose of the Grama act is to protect citizens — so that they understand what their elected officials are doing. Keeping sensitive and personal information private is also part of protecting the average citizen. If reform means making all actions of the Government available public, I support it. However, not all input from citizens should be made public.

  2. Private E-mail is just that and should be protected under the 4th amendment. Public discussion of buisness in our Gov. needs to be seen by as many eyes as possible.

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