Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Diane Denish says no(?) to public records review panel.

Three of us are watching the same video, link, Excerpt #3.

KKOB's political reporter and blogger, Peter St Cyr asked
gubernatorial hopeful Diane Denish if she would support an
independent review panel to provide oversight over public
records requests.

I am outnumbered, two to one. My friends argue that she
answered yes, she would support such a panel.

I believe still, she dodged the question and instead offered up
a reiteration of her support for "more timely production and
fewer redactions".

It is a distinction with a difference.

However the question is asked, it boils down to one question
fundamentally; will the surrender of public records be subject
to due process?
Will records be surrendered rather
immediately and will they be subject to redaction according to
agreed upon principles? Will the redaction be ethical and impartial?

If an oversight body is established, then politicians and public servants can no longer hide the public records of their mis, mal, and non-feasance through excessive and unwarranted redaction and delay.

In theory, the right to inspect public records is enforceable under the law. In practice, the law is of little use, especially when time is of the essence. In order to enforce the law, you are required to hire your own lawyer who will argue with government's lawyers whose salary you pay as well. Since there is no penalty for being obtuse, they will be. They will argue legal points established long since, to gain another thirty days in the process.

If public records were actually accessible under the law,
they would be accessible, and they are not.

If you need proof to substantiate the above two paragraphs,
you are invited to ask the leadership of the APS to show you
the public records that show how many tax dollars have been
squandered at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

Diane Denish herself, recently admitted,
if there was transparency in state government,
we wouldn't be talking about it now.

Without an independent and powerful oversight body, we remain where we are; no matter how strongly any political candidate feels about "timely production and fewer redactions".

On Friday, I emailed both Denish's campaign website and her personal Public Information Officer, Sam Thompson, and asked for clarification.
I asked;

Can I have a candid and forthright statement of (Denish's) intentions with respect to forming an independent review panel for public records requests, and her vision of the scope and power that review board would have.
I also asked that the receipt of my question be acknowledged
even if I had to wait longer for a response to the actual question.

I have received no response to either request.

I have long argued, and I argue still, if the question is;
Do you intend to tell the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.

I believe that when asked if she really intended to create an oversight body for public records requests, a body that was impartial and powerful enough to compel production of ethically redacted public records from even the most powerful politician or public servant,
Diane Denish's
response means, no,

even if the actual word "no" never crossed her lips.

photo Mark Bralley

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