Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doug Turner sprints into the lead, then falls down.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Turner has set himself apart from the pack. He offers the most powerful endorsement of any candidate of any party, in support of the Inspection of Public Records Act;

New Mexico needs to elect a governor who will strengthen our Inspection of Public Records Act. The current version lacks the teeth of serious enforcement when a bureaucrat or politician defies it. Willfully withholding public documents from the public, media or other inquiring stakeholders should be a fourth-degree felony, and we need a governor who will fight for such consequences, link.
As powerful as that statement is, Turner still falls short of the need.

There are only two kinds of public records;
  1. those which belong in the hands of the public, and

  2. those which do not (for good and ethical reasons).

They are separated currently, by the people who create them, and who might have the greatest need to keep them secret for as long as possible.

They need to be separated by due process instead.

Any public record that needs redaction, should be redacted
according to a process that provides ethical redaction.
The difference between "legal" redaction and "ethical"
redaction is readily apparent.

Legal redaction surrenders "every record that the law requires".

Ethical redaction surrenders "every record that the law allows".

The difference is considerable.

As much as we need a Governor "who will fight for ... consequences" for those who interfere with legal redaction,
we need more

We need a Governor who will make ethically redacted
public records immediately available upon request.

We need a Governor who will promise to tell us the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the public
interests, and about their public service.

We need a Governor who will promise,
requests for public records will result in an ethically redacted
copy of the record being posted on the internet within a very few days, at the very most.

It is not technologically impossible.

It takes only character and courage.

photo Mark Bralley

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